SKH Lam Kau Mow wins debate

SKH Lam Kau Mow wins debate

Affirmative side's better arguments are backed by detailed evidence and point-by-point rebuttals

SKH Lam Kau Mow
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Sha Tin College

Sha Tin Government Secondary School and SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary School met in the second round of the 12th Nesta-SCMP Debating Competition last Wednesday. The motion was: "Hong Kong is taking care of mainland immigrants arriving here since 2006."

The debate was adjudicated by Stan Dyer, a native English teacher from Kwok Tak Seng Catholic Secondary School.

Lam Kau Mow took the affirmative side, and Sha Tin the negative.

Dyer gave the edge to Lam Kau Mow because of their better arguments, more detailed evidence and better rebuttals. "I think the best speaker award should go to Natalie Lo Hiu-ling, third speaker of the affirmative," he said. "Her rebuttals were specific and well targeted. Point by point, she rebutted the arguments by the negative."

The first speaker for the affirmative side, Form Six student Alex Lam Hoi-shing, was credited with being able to explain clearly what topics each member of his team was going to present.

Dyer said: "Alex began with a clear and reasonable definition of the motion. Then he gave the team's split clearly, giving me a clear idea of what each speaker was going to talk about, which was nice.

"He also made good use of statistics on employment and education to demonstrate his case."

Lam Kau Mow argued that the Hong Kong government and non-governmental organisations had done a lot to help new immigrants settle down in Hong Kong.

They pointed out there was support for new immigrants in education, health care, housing and employment and enough had been done to help them integrate into Hong Kong society.

Sha Tin responded with examples of new immigrants being discriminated against and highlighted their hardships.

The first speaker for the negative side, Lydia Leung Ching-wan, a Form Six student, said: "New immigrants are facing discrimination. They are badly treated by employers, as they are given lower wages compared with locals. They lack support in housing, finance and have no voting power."

Dyer said: "The negative gave two very good, real-life examples - of a new immigrant student not being able to get a scholarship and a new immigrant family living humbly in a cubicle - to demonstrate their case. This was good, but in order to make their case more convincing, I suggest they quote the sources of those examples."

He offered some advice to the debaters.

"I was not able to catch a clear team line from both sides. First speakers for both teams have to provide the team line," he said.

The contest is organised by the Native English Speaking Teachers' Association and the South China Morning Post.

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