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KTJ Wins the Malaysian Debating Championship!

Ever since the noble art of debating established itself in Malaysia, the battle to become Malaysia’s best has raged on. Previously, the problem was that there was no single integrated competition where every school in the country could do battle for that exalted title. That all changed in 2015.

Organized by the Malaysian Institute for Debating and Public Speaking in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, the inaugural Malaysian National Schools Debating Championship was the first ever tournament to bring together day schools, boarding schools, private schools and international schools to form a giant cornucopia of oratory excellence and wit. The teams were ready. The nation was stoked. It was time to crown a national champion. 

Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar (KTJ) was duly represented in the tournament by 2 teams who were raring to bring the distinction of being the first ever national champions back to Mantin. They debated, and boy, did they debate well. After 5 preliminary rounds dealing with issues like the media, sports, education, international relations and economics, both teams qualified for the elimination rounds, a particularly impressive feat considering the high standard of the competition. On top of that, our first team, represented by Imran Mateo, Thevesh Theva and Aaron Luke, qualified for the elimination rounds in first place, going unbeaten in the preliminaries! Things were certainly looking good!

The run of our second team, comprising Ryan Poh, Lewis Ching and Saffron Lim, unfortunately came to an end in the round of 16. However, our first team continued fighting on, defeating all who came before them and eventually making the grand finals! 

And on the 2nd of March 2015, proposing the motion that ‘In post-conflict societies, the government should mandate diversity in community living such as housing, education and the workplace’, Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar achieved the dream and made history! We were the first ever debating champions of Malaysia! Taking home RM 5,000 in prize money was great, but the glory of permanently etching KTJ’s name into the annals of Malaysian debating was an unparalleled delight!

Our speakers were also recognised for their individual excellence! Aaron Luke and Ryan Poh were both given awards for being amongst the Top 10 speakers of the tournament, while Thevesh completed a clean sweep of every prize at stake by taking home the awards for Best Speaker of the Finals as well as the Overall Best Speaker of the tournament! Victories as comprehensive as theirs are rare in such a competitive demanding circuit; their success was all the sweeter for it.  

We know that this win follows a long string of past victories, and surely isn’t the end of their exploits. We know also that they will continue to strive to better themselves, and to stay humble, honest and kind; not just a successful team, but one that makes the game beautiful.

We did it. We’re national champs!