Today, Ipoh International School’s debate team participated in a forum event at the Ipoh YMCA.
The structure of the event was like this-There were seven teams and the topic was crime….Each team was to present a forum on a different type of crime….These were selected by draw beforehand….IIS’s topic was kidnapping.
Most schools (including us) opted for a mock talk show or other public event wherein a moderator interviewed two people on the subject….One being an expert on the topic and the other being someone with some real life experience on the topic.
Ours was a mock talk show called EYE ON CRIME with a moderator and two guests- a college professor who is an expert on kidnapping and a reformed kidnapping mastermind.
The bottom line is IIS were the best team according to the rules of the event….IIS had the best framework for our presentation as well as the best command of the English language….Our speakers were also very funny and were able to speak from memory and from improvisation never looking at a script.
The team that did win had good information and a polished moderator but the other two speakers were very dull and had to sometimes refer to a written script.
In addition, one of the rules of this event was that points were not just derived from your presentation but also questions you posed to the other team (Every group had to field one question from every other team at the end of their presentation)….Our questions were all excellent-hard hitting and entertaining….What really bothered me was the team that did win didn’t even pose any questions the first two rounds….There should have been some penalty for this!
This is now the second time IIS has been denied an obvious victory in a debating type event….I put this down to one or more causes 1.) Existing ties between the winning school and one or more of the judges in other words corruption 2.) A failure to understand the level of English used by IIS debaters which is significantly more like a native speaker’s level of fluency by illiterate Manglish oriented judges 3.) A pre-existing prejudice against some of our debaters who are not Malaysians.
I honestly think we were cheated today….I think the three participants from IIS were significantly better than all the other teams put together….I think it might be time for IIS to compete in events like these not in the usual Ipoh channels but perhaps with other international schools maybe in Kuala Lumpur etc. where our language, creativity, and sense of humor will be understood and there will be less of a chance of corruption….I’ve already discussed this with the principal and we will work on finding out about the feasibility of this next term