Limkokwing International Debate Championship

Address by Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Dr Limkokwing at the Prize Giving Ceremony, Limkokwing University Malaysia, February 23rd 2014
23 February 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen,

May I extend my own warm welcome to everyone.

Our special guest, Tuan Haji Anuar Bin Abdul Hamid, who is here representing the Ministry of Education.

Adjudicators, judges, teachers, parents, friends from everywhere, and everyone who is here. I thank you for putting aside time on your precious Sunday to be with us.

Your presence means a lot to the young people who have gathered here for this inaugural debating championship.

Our young and absolutely fabulous debaters, you must know that you are the only reason for our being here today.

I know I am here to do just one thing – to warmly congratulate every debater who has taken part in this championship.

Everyone of you has become a star right here on this campus.

I have heard nothing but praise and admiration for your charm and talent and debating skills since you arrived. Our students think you guys are really cool. And all of us are quite in awe of how brilliantly your teams have been performing.

You guys are amazingly talented. Everyone of you is a champion!

We could see how hard you have pushed yourself hard to win for your schools and your states. Everyone ought to be so proud of you. And you should be very proud of the way you have fought throughout the championship.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We know that good debaters invariably are sharp thinkers, smart connectors, the best leaders.

Accomplished debaters are such influential people that they should be seen as a force to be harnessed for the development of society, and the betterment of humanity.

We know that those who are so fast and so sharp on their feet are always the ones stretching boundaries and breaking down barriers – in everything they set out to do. These are the ones who are changing the world.

The people who created a Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter were hardly out of school when they started to build those giant footprints in cyberspace.

To all 416 of you who have taken part in the debate, I salute you for what you have done.

By competing in this championship you have all become stronger competitors, you have all become winners.

By doing what you have done, you have proven yourselves to be the brightest and smartest young people in this country.

By standing and competing against the best in the country, you have all become champions.

You have become an inspiration to me, everyone on this campus, and thousands of others across the country.

Because the championship will go viral, what you can do will inspire millions across the world way after this championship is over.

To those who will be bringing home the trophies and the big prizes, I congratulate you on your outstanding performances.

You have distinguished yourselves by tracking your way right to the very top. You deserve the admiration of every person in this country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My gratitude goes to everyone who has helped plan and organize this event, every volunteer, our students from around the world, who have worked tirelessly to ensure smooth running of the championship.

To the adjudicators, the celebrity judges, the event managers, the fashion club who organized the events, the choir who performed repeatedly for our visitors, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

My celebrity friends must know that your presence has not only added that celebrity sparkle to the championship, your presence is a source of inspiration to the young debaters. Surely these are Malaysia's future leaders.

And if not for the debaters themselves, their teachers and parents, this championship would not have taken place. I thank you most warmly for your participation. This day clearly belongs to you.

Let me conclude by leaving you with quotes from some of history's greatest debaters:

"Honest debate is a good sign of progress." — Mahatma Gandhi

"A good leader will engage in a debate frankly and throughly." — Nelson Mandela

"Without debate, no country can succeed, no republic can survive." — John F Kennedy

On that note, may I once again congratulate the winners of this year's debating championship.

You are the best in the country. You are among the best in the world. You have only our best wishes as you move to build your own success stories.