The Gandhi Memorial ASEAN Debate Competition 2018, organised by Kuala Lumpur based Gandhi Memorial Trust (GMT) is slated to kick off on 1 October in conjunction with the 148th birthday of international historical icon, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi – more commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi.
The two-day competition will begin on 1 October at the Asian International Arbitration Centre in Kuala Lumpur with the Grand Finals taking place on 2 October 2018.
Following GMT’s successful run of debate competitions organised for Malaysian institutes of higher education for the past two years, the competition this year is going regional for the first time. It will feature teams from prominent universities in member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) consisting of debaters who are majoring in law, economics and finance.
The competition is the brainchild of longstanding GMT Trustee Dato’ Mahadev Shankar, who was also a former Judge of the Court of Appeal of Malaysia and Organizing Chairman of previous Gandhi Memorial Debate Competitions.
What sets the Gandhi Memorial ASEAN Debate Competition apart from other debates within the regional debating circuit is the incorporation of Gandhian principles into the core of the debate topics.
In previous editions of the competition, participants debated on issues pertaining to the Gandhian principles of Ahimsa (Non-Violence) and Satyagraha (Truth) in line with modern day socio-economic, socio-political as well as geopolitics issues.
The competition consists of four preliminary rounds, after which the top four teams will qualify for the semi-finals. Subsequently, the winners of both semi-finals will meet in the grand finals to do battle for the prestigious Gandhi Memorial Debate trophy.
The Malaysian Institute for Debate and Public Speaking (MIDP), also the lead coordinator of the debate competition, has structured the debates to follow the Asian format where there will be two teams in a parliamentary style debate. Each side will feature three debaters and in the interest of gender equality, each team must consist of at least one member of the opposite gender. Each debater is afforded seven minutes to take the floor and reply speeches may last up to four minutes.
CEO of MIDP, Ahmed Faris said in ensuring a diversity of opinions, judges have been selected from a range of diverse backgrounds. He added, “They will include those with trained debating and adjudicating experience, professionals, academicians, civil service officials and alternative dispute resolution practitioners”.
The Gandhi Memorial ASEAN Debate Competition 2018 is organized by the Gandhi Memorial Trust, with the support of ZICO Group, the Malaysian Institute for Debate and Public Speaking (MIDP), The ASEAN Post, Little Caterers, Nuffnang and the good people of ASEAN.
The competition is also supported by the government of India and The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
You can livestream the debate here