Oxbridge and KTJ Debating Forum Trip
Four MCM pupils took part in the Oxbridge and KTJ Debating Forum, an event that gives young people the opportunity to listen to academic speakers and to take part in competitive debating themselves. The day started with alumni from Oxford and Cambridge Universities debating the motion: ‘This House believes that Modern Media is malignant and not maligned’. The speakers were composed of an independent journalist, an MP, an academic and a barrister turned actor.
The arguments from both sides were informed and detailed. The Government side proposed that the modern media has a negative impact on society, as it is biased, trivialises important issues and gives free voice to ‘crazy’ people to propagate their madness. The Opposition side argued that modern media is the backbone of democracy, as it gives everyone a platform to express themselves and allows complete access to information, which allows for a citizenry who can make informed choices. Examples of good and bad practice included an explanation of how the modern media enabled Barack Obama to gain the support he needed to become America¹s first black president. In contrast, it was argued that unfettered access to the Internet has made plagiarism rampant within schools and universities.
Students were then given tutoring by the Oxbridge alumni before taking part in a quick-fire debate where speakers had to present their arguments in 90 seconds. More than 170 pupils took part from over 20 schools and James Gibson, Zach Ridzuan-Allen, Natasha Tan and Sarah Zhari proudly represented Marlborough College Malaysia. The most prestigious prize of the competition for Best Arguments went to James Gibson for his convincing speech on why social media is damaging our ability to communicate. Natasha Tan also courageously took part in a two minute impromptu speech on why a strong democracy needs a strong media, with only 5 minutes preparation.
Overall, the day evidenced that free debate is alive and kicking amongst Malaysia¹s youth and that our future guardians of democracy have the political acumen to secure a better future for not only themselves but also their own daughters and their sons.