APU Hosts APU Debate Open 2014

On the weekend of the 17th & 18th of May 2014, the Asia Pacific University hosted one of its two annual debating championships; the APU Debate Open. The tournament, in its fourth edition, was hosted as a preparatory championship for debaters of the Asian region due to attend Asia’s largest debating championship in the Asian Parliamentary season; the United Asians Debating Championship hosted by NTU for its 2014 installment.

The APU Debate Open enjoyed participation from a total of 15 institutions across Malaysia & Singapore including UT MARA (Shah Alam), the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Polytechnic University, the Singapore Management University, Malaysian Private Institutions of Higher Learning (IPTS) as well as some secondary schools including the official team due to represent Malaysia at the World Schools Debating Championship later in the year. The chief adjudicators of the tournament included Ely Zosa, a world renowned debater and judge from the Philippines; Andrea Soreano, a prominent judge within the Asian region from Singapore; and, Arinah Najwa, one of Malaysia’s premier debaters from the International Islamic University who’s also one of the very few Malaysian debaters who were successful in reaching the Open Quarter Finals of the World Universities Debating Championship.

The grand finals of the APU Debate Open 2014, saw a debate on whether self-declared humanitarians should denounce volun-tourism. Supporting the motion in side government from Nanyang Technological University were Aditya Mitra, Lu Huiyi & Vihasini Gopakumar whilst opposing the motion was a composite team consisting of Timothy Andrew (an alumni of APU), Kanna Paramatheva (currently serving in the Singapore Armed Forces) & Marvin Loh (a student of the National University of Singapore). Upon the conclusion of a heated debate on the definition of volun-tourism, its merits and the standards or benchmarks for accrediting efforts and their contribution to the overall development of underprivileged areas, the team supporting the motion NTU rose as Champion in a unanimous decision by the judges. Vihasini Gopakumar was awarded the best speaker of the finals whilst the Overall Best Speaker, gauged on the basis of performance in the preliminary rounds, was awarded to Mifzal Mohammed from UT MARA (Shah Alam).

Participants of ADO 2014 expressed their satisfaction with the tournament; as one of the participants, Ahmed Faris from UT MARA, puts it “Tournaments hosted by APU are always competitive”. This sentiment was echoed by a majority of participants as well as the pool of chief and invited adjudicators making ADO 2014 one of the region’s premier tournaments.