106 teams to compete in 12th Swinburne Sarawak inter-school debate

February 10, 2017

The Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus' Inter-school Debating Championship is already in its 12th year.

KUCHING – A total of 33 schools, including two from Indonesia, will compete at the Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus Inter-school Debating Championship (SSIDC) from 13 to 16 February.

The 315 students making up the 106 teams will come from schools as diverse as fully residential schools in Betong, Malacca and Negeri Sembilan, to private day schools in Kuching as well as Chinese independent schools, government cluster schools, single-sex and co-educational schools in Sarawak, Peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia.

This will be the largest group to compete in the championship’s 12-year history.

“It is exciting to see that so many students are keen to debate in English and that they will come from far and near to do so in the Swinburne Sarawak championship,” said organiser Christina Yin.

“We hope that by debating with their peers from different schools from all over the country and the region, the students will be inspired to keep debating and improving their general knowledge, critical thinking and oratory skills in English,” said the senior lecturer from the Faculty of Language and Communication.

In the first two days of the three-and-a-half-day championship, the students will face each other across the debate floor in the preliminary rounds of the junior category (Forms 1 to 3) and the senior category (Forms 4 and 5).

The knockout rounds will take place on the third day of the championship, culminating in the grand finals on the fourth day.

Apart from the Champions and Runners-Up, the top best debaters in both junior and senior categories will be honoured, as will the Most Promising and Most Improved teams.

The Best Speaker of English and the Best Debater in the Final in each category will also be awarded.

In recognition of the importance of debate in English, Swinburne Sarawak Engagement Scholarships will be awarded to the Senior Champions, Runners-Up and two semi-finalists.

The debaters in all those teams will be eligible to enrol in the Swinburne Foundation Studies in the next three years, with scholarships ranging from RM3,000 to RM4,500 each.

Swinburne Sarawak has sponsored 16 experienced adjudicators from Peninsular Malaysia and overseas to provide fair and constructive feedback to the debaters.

“Oral adjudication” is part of the debate championship that helps debaters to learn and improve each round they debate.

This year’s Chief Adjudicator is once again Swinburne Sarawak’s own Hugh John Leong, an experienced debater and adjudicator, from the Faculty of Language and Communication.

The Deputy Chief Adjudicators are Associate Professor Chandran Somasundram and Vinodhan Kuppusamy from University Malaya and Sheikh Muhammad Faizal Shah, Director of Nous Academy, a centre for debate and public speaking.

Other independent adjudicators, alumni of the SSIDC, and long-time SSIDC adjudicators based in Kuching will also provide expertise.

In keeping with the University’s aim to be environmentally-friendly, the Swinburne Green Club and sponsor Wildlife Conservation Society have prepared a series of green activities for the students, teachers and adjudicators including the Tree of Life and the Locks for Conservation and Debate.

Organised by the Swinburne Sarawak Debaters’ Club and funded by the Faculty of Language and Communication, additional sponsorship has been provided by the Swinburne Sarawak Student Council. Other sponsors include the Wildlife Conservation Society, Data Print Centre, Hungry Dino, John’s Pie, and Spring Florist and Gifts.



David Teng
(Communications and PR Executive)
Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus

+60 82 415 353