Hear, hear! Kuala Lumpur to host ASEAN-wide debate competition

A picture taken on September 7, 2016, shows a life-size bronze statue of Indian independence icon Mahatma Gandhi during its unveiling ceremony at the Indian embassy in Kuwait City. (AFP Photo/Yasser Al-Zayyat)

In conjunction with the 148th birthday of India’s national icon, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi – more commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi – the Gandhi Memorial Trust (GMT) Kuala Lumpur will be organising an inaugural regional level debate tournament featuring talent from top universities within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the Malaysian capital.

The competition would focus on exposing undergraduates to legal and socioeconomic issues relevant to the AEC. At the same time, the debates will also contain elements of Gandhian principles – encouraging ethics in the capitalist market.

According to the organisers, they hope to hold this debate annually on the contentious issues which threaten the security and stability of civil society.

The debates would feature students from the best universities around the region specifically those majoring in law, economics and finance.

The competition is coordinated by the Malaysian Institute for Debate and Public Speaking (MIDP) and supported by ZICO Law with The ASEAN Post as the official media partner for the event.

Competition Administrator, Noor Hannah Nasir from Zico Group remarked that the debates would provide a platform for students to advocate their thoughts for a world free from coercion, intolerance, violence and discrimination.

“Now that this debate has become regional, we are in the position to shine light on more ideas,” she added.

Echoing this sentiment, Chief Executive Officer of MIDP, Ahmed Faris stressed that it is important that youths have an outlet to have their voices heard especially with the advent of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

“We have had many influential, charismatic intellectuals from South East Asia and we can see this potential in the up and coming generation, despite the region’s challenging history over the last few decades,” he remarked.

The final round of the competition would be held in the third quarter of 2018 in Kuala Lumpur once all participating universities and organisers finalise the relevant dates.

Finalists will also be given a chance to intern at entities within ZICO Group.

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