“The motion is to allow the killing of children?” – would you agree with it? Yes? No?
Okay, now that it has captured your attention, what if I say I have a lot to specify on, things like “allowing parents to kill their children within the span of 30 days post-birth when they’re diagnosed with a terminally-ill disease which would have put them in so much pain and kill them eventually?” Or “what if I question the fact that as a fellow human being, who are we to decide what’s right for the child, or to put a child through so much pain just because we all believe in this moralistic notion that life is precious and beautiful and that we should preserve it? I mean, who are we to claim that a child’s life is beautiful when the truth is, we know that the child is in so much pain and is in fact not enjoying his life at all and is probably going to die eventually anyway?”
Are you intrigued yet? If you are and if you feel like you have solid facts to oppose this motion, then you might probably want to join the Monash Debate Club, the new club that’s aspiring to reach the World University Debate Championships by 2019!
On the 2nd of May 2017, the Monash Debate Club or the Monash Association of Debaters Malaysia organised an Argumentative Skills Workshop in collaboration with Boost to further promote the art of debating while creating new platforms for our fellow debaters to sharpen their skills when it comes to enhancing quality argumentations on different topics. The workshop was handled by renowned Malaysian debater, Mifzal Mohammed who took the time to teach the audience certain aspects of debating which would help one in winning their arguments on stage. In his little lecture, Mifzal focused on different elements of argument, particularly the formula that’s formed between making a claim and providing a support for a claim that you have made with rational connections between those two that’s labelled an inference. It was the basis of any simple arguments which would later be used to form more complex arguments that involve a variety of different support statements. He used the example of discussing the capital punishment and how he stood for the motion where it should be banned. Before that, he also elaborated on how the different things that would establish argumentation as a movement – the idea of swaying your opponents, moving an audience, redirecting questions and coming to conclusions among other things.
Now a little bit more about the incredibly talented coach of the Monash Debate Team:-
Mifzal Mohammed is a law student from UiTM Shah Alam who has been deeply involved with the Malaysian debate scene for a few years now. He is probably one of the most decorated debaters in the country, having been named national champion twice in a row- an impressive feat not a lot can achieve. On the international stage, he has been named the champion of the Cambridge IV in 2015 and was featured in the Top 10 Speakers in that same tournament. He was also the Asian British Parliamentary (ABP) Champion in 2014 and was named the Overall Best Speaker apart from being a Semi-finalist at the World University Debate Championships, ranking as the 2nd team in the world and 4th best speaker against prestigious universities such as Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge. Mifzal has also taken the liberty to be an adjudicator at a handful of different debate tournaments and has been selected to be the Chief Judge at the World University Debates Championship 2018 in Mexico.
However back to the workshop, it then proceeded with a short debate demonstration between the Monash Debate Club and representatives from Brickfields Asia College (BAC) where the students of BAC represented the house that would support dictatorship over budding democracy in post-conflict societies with the Monash debaters going against the motion. Some of the points both side had brought included how in a legitimised government, elected individuals are actually needed instead of self-appointed dictators while the representatives from BAC spoke about how dictatorship would be more effective in minimising casualties in a post-conflict society. The exchange took place on stage and was witnessed by both Mifzal and the rest of the audience.
The workshop came to an end at approximately 8.30p.m. and delicious food was served outside of Auditorium 2 for all the members of the workshop to savour and enjoy.
If you are ever interested in joining them, do sign up and you can attend their meetings on Tuesday evenings! Also, check them out on their facebook page here: Monash Malaysia Debate Society or you can contact their President, Shams Shaher or their Vice-President, Giridhran Palani.
Article by Calvin Fernandez