The Oxbridge Society’s Fifth Annual Debate took place on Saturday 5th March in the Auditorium at Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar. Once again this prompted a fantastic turnout of Oxbridge members who came to coach and mentor over 160 Year 9-12 students from 17 local and international schools. Oxbridge Society President, Mark Disney, thanked all the participants and the staff of KTJ (especially Emma Davidson) for once again putting on a fantastic show.

The Plenary Debaters were Tony Pua (politician) Munir Abdul Aziz (lawyer) Sharifah Bakar (banker) and Natasha Kamaluddin (investment banking) arguing that ‘This House Believes that all Concepts of Freedom are Fluid not Fixed’ the Cambridge team (Natasha and Sharifah) suggested that our understanding of freedom has changed markedly over time. The Oxford side (Tony and Munir) took the view that an innate sense of freedom was fundamental to the human condition.

Following the debate and the vote (99 Oxford to 81 Cambridge) the students broke into groups for a working lunch and returned in the afternoon for a series of mini-debates and an Impromptu contest in the main auditorium:

  1. This House believes that technology has enslaved rather than freed us.
  2. This House believes that economic freedom is more important than political freedom.
  3. This House believes that personal freedom has always been an illusion.
  4. This House believes that national security should always outweigh individual freedom.
  5. This House believes that international freedom of movement is a fundamental human right.

Most of the students were first time debaters from Forms 4 & 5 (including a couple of eager beavers from Forms 2 & 3). Despite the nerves it was great exposure and a learning experience for everyone. Prizes were awarded to the best speakers and the best impromptu performances presented by KTJ’s very own award winning debate team of Thevesh, Aaron, and Imran.