CU zeros in on one point to win debate

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 March, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 March, 1993, 12:00am

CLEVER interpretation of the motion helped the Chinese University's (CU) debating team scoop the championship at the 22nd Inter-varsity Debate held recently.

The debate is an annual competition between students of CU and the University of Hongkong (HKU).

The motion was ''Commerce, not politics, will bring the greatest benefits to the people of Hongkong''. Chinese University, which opposed the motion, felt that it was a difficult one to debate.

''Everything can be included in commerce and politics and thus it is very difficult to define the motion,'' said Cecilia Ho Sze-mun, captain of the CU team.

Cecilia said they could not totally negate the motion and, therefore, chose to argue that politics and commerce were equally important to the territory.

The main argument of CU was that politics and commerce should go hand in hand and only a stable political environment could bring about economic prosperity.

But HKU countered that Hongkong's success had been always due to commerce. They quoted as example the present Sino-British row which had cost local investors millions of dollar in stock market losses.

Karen Chan Ka-yan from the CU team grabbed the best debater award.

Karen said their team had gained some experience from previous debates and tried to streamline the excessive number of arguments down to only one point.

''With only one brilliant argument, we can avoid opening too many doors for our rival to attack,'' she said.

Karen said team members spoke with eloquence and a sense of humour and she thought these two elements were the key to their success.

She said the contestants were only given the motion 60 minutes before the start of the debate. ''This has put great pressure on us,'' she said.

But Karen said the team had done a lot of research earlier and had collected sufficient information in preparing for the contest.

Cecilia added that they had held several mock debates before coming to the competition. ''Regular practice proved to be helpful in improving our debating skill,'' she said.