KUCHING – After coming close to winning the Yayasan Sarawak World Style English Debate Trophy in the past seven years, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus finally took home the championship trophy, including most of the prizes, recently (13 October, 2010).
The audience went wild as Swinburne Sarawak was named champion at the grand final of the tournament.
This was also the first time in the history of the tournament, themed Green lifestyle for a better world this year where two teams from Swinburne Sarawak reached the final.
Debating in the grand final on the motion This House believes that developed countries should pay developing countries for the preservation of their natural forests, Swinburne Sarawak’s team of Paul Dylan Lim, Sailesh Choytooa and Celestine Prisca Christopher (reserve) lifted the championship trophy, and also took home a RM4,000 cheque.
First runner-up went to University Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) while Swinburne Sarawak’s team comprising Md Ashikur Rahman, Brendan Goh and Nur Nasuha Nasir (reserve) took the second runner-up title and a cheque of RM2,000.
Third runner-up went to Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM).
Swinburne Sarawak swept a string of the top prizes on top of winning the championship title. Sailesh Choytooa was named Best Debater in the final, and of the six Best Debater Awards presented five were won by Swinburne Sarawak. They are Md Ashikur Rahman, Syed Sharbini Rafie, Sailesh Choytooa, Paul Dylan Lim and Brendan Goh.
In the Public Speaking Challenge, Syed Sharbini Rafie proved the better speaker and emerged champion. Unimas was the 1st runner up while Md Ashikur Rahman was 2nd runner up.
Swinburne Sarawak’s reserves of Stephen Huong and I.M. Kasun also won the Humour round.
This year eight institutions of higher learning competed in the Unimas-hosted tournament. They are Swinburne Sarawak, Unimas, UiTM Sarawak, Inti College, Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Batu Lintang, Twintech College Sarawak, Universiti Putra Malaysia Kampus Bintulu and University of Otago (IPBL).
Swinburne Sarawak will play host to the tournament next year.