Swinburne Debaters’ Club President Ryan Yap Chen-Yen tied for overall best speaker in the Malaysian National Intervarsity Debating Championship that took place from 6 to 8 November.
Ryan and teammate Wahaj Qaiser Syed had entered the British Parliamentary tournament in the novice category but was elevated to the open category as one of the two top teams in the novice category, their high speaker scores carrying them over. There, they debated in the quarter-finals where they were edged out by more experienced teams.
On debate, second-year computer science student Ryan says, “I like seeing how arguments develop. If I poke someone’s argument in a debate, they’ll come up the next round with deeper analysis and more solid reasoning as to why their argument stands, and it’s fun seeing the different layers of thinking an argument can develop.”
Wahaj Qaiser Syed, a final-year marketing student, tied at ninth Best Speaker says he debates for the thrill. “When you are debating, your heart pumps that little bit faster. The adrenaline surge of giving a P.O.I. The pleasure of victory. The disappointment of defeat. The long hours spent waiting, preparing and debating. It’s the best feeling in the world.”
Two other Swinburne Sarawak teams took part in the debate: SUTS 1 comprising Wan Faris Ali Ibrahim and Lancelan Pegan Roland Sagah, and SUTS 3 comprising Anne Tan Li Hwa and Sarah Supahan.
Novice adjudicator Darren Sim Han Yong broke as an adjudicator in the quarters of the novice category, with Faris and Lance making it to the semi-finals round of the novice category. Club advisor and former debate champion, Hugh Leong also adjudicated at the tournament.