From The Star (Sdr. Farquar Haqqani is the Captain of MCKK English Debating Team 2005 - 2006 and one of the members of the Malaysian team):
KUALA LUMPUR: Shoppers at Berjaya Times Square learned something about free trade as they listened to students debate the topic.
The students, champions of the English-Speaking Union of Malaysia (ESUM) and The Star World Schools Debating Championships 2007 Malaysian leg, battled out on the motion “Free Trade Harms the Developing World”.
Team coach Jagjeet Singh said that having a debate in a public place served as preparation for their World Schools Debating Championships 2007 in Seoul from July 2 to 12.
“We expect to debate in public places in South Korea, so we need to gain some experience debating in public.
“Moreover, it can help bring out the courage and confidence in the debaters.
“The public can gain more understanding of world issues and what better than from the voices of the younger generation,” she said.
Ang Jian Wei, Lee Zhi Wei and Andrew Wong Yoon Loong, all 18, were on the “government” side that supported the motion while John Lee, Farquar Haqqani, both 18, and 17-year-old Shamala Rajalingam made up the opposition.
Jagjeet Singh, who is also an international adjudicator, was the chairman for the debate that drew in a small crowd at the lower ground concourse area and the upper floors.
At the end of the debate, the stage was offered to the members of the floor to come up and give their opinions for the team to respond.
“The audience's participation was fantastic. The ones that came up have very good responses and raised very interesting angles,” she said, adding that another debate would be held next month at another shopping complex.
Ang said debating in public was quite exciting adding that they usually debated in halls without any public participation.
“It was exhilarating, and the view of the public was of paramount importance to us. What they see can be different from what we see,” Ang added.