John Cheung wins best speaker award for his well-paced delivery and excellent summary of Diocesan team's argument
Diocesan Boy's School
Better organisation and teamwork helped Diocesan Boys' School (DBS) beat Methodist College in the third round of the 11th Nesta-SCMP Inter-School Debating Competition. The motion was: 'Having the minimum wage law will do more harm than good to Hong Kong.'
The contest is jointly organised by the Native English Speaking Teachers' Association and the South China Morning Post, and is sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. The debate took place at DBS on Tuesday.
Adjudicator Benjamin Leung, a teacher from American International School, gave the edge to DBS, the affirmative side, for better organisation and teamwork.
'All three speakers from DBS talked about and reinforced the bad effects the minimum wage law will have on society. They were consistent and spoke as a team,' Leung said.
John Cheung Ming-hin, a Form Three student from DBS, was named the best speaker. 'John spoke at an excellent pace. He took his time and summarised the case of his team nicely,' Leung said.
DBS emphasised the minimum wage law would result in less-productive workers being laid off to reduce costs. They also questioned the effectiveness of introducing the legislation, suggesting that it could lead to problems with black-market labour.
Garreth Chan, also a Form Three student at DBS, said: 'The minimum wage law is sure to tempt many employers to hire black-market labour that is willing to work for less than the minimum wage. There are an abundance of such workers coming from the mainland.'
Leung said Methodist were unable to disprove the point on black-market labour which was a key factor in their defeat.
Methodist built their case on social justice. They made use of a recent news report - about an old lady who cleaned toilets eight hours a day and earned less than HK$3,000 per month - to show that life, without the minimum wage law, is miserable for the lower classes.
Methodist described the current situation as exploitation of workers. Second speaker Sunny Lau Kin-sing said: 'It is a shame that Hong Kong, which has the third-highest GDP in Asia, sees people living in cage homes and not being able to afford their basic necessities. Workers need to be respected not exploited.'
Leung praised Methodist for using real-life examples to help illustrate their point, but felt the team could have done better if they were able to bring out a few more of those stories.
DBS showed they had stronger arguments, but Leung advised them to do a better job in making use of statistics and evidence to support their views.