Students from HELP University’s Faculty of Law and Government recently won first runner-up at the Gandhi Memorial Debate 2016 held at the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre of Arbitration on November 26, 2016. During the final round, Ho Cheng En and Mithrun Swaminathan, second-year and first-year law students from the UK Transfer Degree Programme respectively, went up against the representatives from Taylor’s University.
The topic of the debate for the finals was ‘There is no room for Gandhian economics in today’s free market economy on which we depend’. The HELP team of debaters was the proponent and had to defend the motion of the day.
The three debaters in HELP’s team were Cheng En, Mithrun and Nur Sarah Binti Imran, who were assisted by fellow law students, Kimberly Soh Su Yin and Lee Yew Chern. The three debaters took turns in the three rounds of debate held over the course of two months from September to November. Nur Sarah and Cheng En were the debaters of the preliminaries, while Mithrun replaced Cheng En during the semi-finals.
The winning team was guided by their team leader and law tutor, Muhamad Abral Bin Abu Bakar and the law faculty’s Visiting Fellows, Deborah Kaur and Sumathi Krishnan. To prepare for each round of the debate, the team of five students, three debaters and two researchers had to meet up for brainstorming and practice sessions, as well as conduct extensive research into and surrounding the subject and motion of the debate such as Gandhi’s principles, his ideology, and India’s historical background.
“The lecturers were really helpful. I’d really like to thank Mr Abral, Ms Deborah and Ms Sumathi for all their guidance and advice. They are very busy people but they still took time to come to our training sessions to help us out, and especially to Mr Abral who has accompanied us in every round,” said Cheng En, in appreciation for the assistance from his lecturers.
“Getting into the finals isn’t an easy task, so I’m really proud of the team, but to lose at the last moment is definitely disappointing, especially since we’ve worked so hard for it. It’s a bittersweet feeling, I guess. But since this is just our first time participating in a competition like this, I felt we did really well and it was a great experience. We will just have to continue improving and make sure we bring a championship home next time,” he added.