In the second round of the 13th Nesta-SCMP Debating Competition, YWCA Hioe Tjo Yoeng College battled Immaculate Heart of Mary College on the motion "Hong Kong is a great place to live". YWCA agreed with the motion, while Immaculate Heart of Mary took the opposing view. The debate took place at YWCA Hioe Tjo Yoeng College on April 30, with Notre Dame College teacher Maggie Bloch adjudicating.
The first speakers of both teams clearly defined their positions on the motion and adopted a distinct strategy, which pleased the adjudicator. She also praised both teams for their remarkable use of language. "I really liked the words the debaters used. There was a lot of colour in their vocabulary and their speeches were convincing and easy to understand," Bloch said.
For the affirmative, YWCA thought Hong Kong was a great place to live because it was free from political turmoil and natural disasters. Their argument was supported by the fact that Hongkongers have one of the world's best statistics for a long life.
On the other hand, the negative side saw living in Hong Kong as a constant struggle due to keen competition for resources. They said Hongkongers faced a high cost of living and competition from mainlanders for resources like education and maternity services.
The affirmative side rebutted that, saying inflation was a global problem. The team added that the government had introduced various policies, such as the minimum wage law, to help tackle inflation.
Bloch awarded the debate to YWCA because of their better arguments and stronger rebuttals. "The affirmative side had some really good arguments to rebut points raised by the negative side," she said. "They did a good job of selling their case by comparing Hong Kong to other parts of the world. I felt that the third speaker of the negative side could have done a better job on rebuttal by providing statistics to support his arguments."
YWCA's Gloria Chang Wing-yan was named the best speaker.
The contest is organised by the Native English Speaking Teachers' Association and the South China Morning Post.