Speech by Guest of Honour, Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education, at the 8th Asia Pacific Intervarsity Chinese Debate Tournament Opening Ceremony, at Nanyang Technological University

Published Date: 12 July 2017 12:00 AM

News Speeches

第八届亚太大专华语辩论公开赛开幕典礼
贸工部兼教育部高级政务次长刘燕玲女士演讲稿
2017 年 7 月 12 日
南洋理工大学

Speech in Mandarin

非常尊敬的南大校友们,

教授们,老师们,师生们,

还有各位评审和各位辩手,

先生女士们,

1. 大家早上好! 回到母校的感觉真棒!我很高兴能够回到南洋理工大学参与第八届亚太大专华语辩论公开赛的开幕典礼。我也是南洋理工大学的校友,很高兴今天有机会回到母校。这里有我许多美好的回忆。也希望我们各位同学们,不管是来自南洋理工大学,还是来自七个地区的朋友们,可以通过这次的比赛交流,在这个美丽的南大校园,建立深厚的友谊。也不仅仅是这次的活动,我相信你们在这五天的比赛所建立的友谊,可能就是一生一世的友谊。希望你们能留下美好的回忆。

学术与文化交流

2. 亚太大专华语辩论公开赛,今年已经迈入了第八个年头。很高兴今年报名参赛的队伍多达54支。主办方最终录取了24支来自亚太地区大学的队伍参与今年的赛事。因为时间的关系,主办方只能容纳24支队伍。不好意思,拒了30支队伍。我知道大家都想赢奖,可是我觉得,能参赛就是一种奖赏。我希望大家能抱着一个正面的态度来参加这次的比赛。通过这个平台,同学们有个非常良好的机会和志同道合的朋友们,青年们,进行一场思维以及辩才的碰撞,增进彼此的知识和文化的交流。

3. 中华文化有五千年的历史。我常常走进校园和朋友们说:你走遍全世界,有哪个语言可以在四个字内涵盖这么多的文化价值观?“尊师重道”,“孝敬父母”,“尊敬长辈”,“刻苦耐劳”等等。我觉得这是我们中华文化,华文华语的一个美德。值得去保留,值得去传承。这得靠你们年轻人了。

4. 亚太大专华语辩论公开赛的前身是“新马大专华语辩论赛”。2004 年,主办方正式将这项赛事,拓展至亚太地区1。两年前,由于报名非常踊跃,主办方扩大了比赛的规模,从原本的 16 支增加到 24 支队伍2。还是得拒了30支,不好意思。主办方对赛制进行大幅度的改进,将整个赛会带到一个新的层次。在此非常感谢及感恩各个学府的踊跃支持和参与。

激发学生对辩论与华文的热衷

5. 除了扩大比赛的规模,据我所知,筹委会之前还举办了一场有意义的造势活动3。什么造势活动呢?他们向修读高级华文的中三中四学生 (我们新加坡中三中四的学生大概介于15和16岁之间),介绍了中文辩论和技巧。

6. 这样的推广活动是非常有意义,并值得鼓励的。我希望这个活动能激发同学们对于学习华文华语,以及对于辩论的兴趣,从而爱上华文华语。

7. 在此,我也非常感谢南洋理工大学的同学们,积极努力地筹办这次的比赛。我也希望各位辩手能继续以求真求是的精神,通过辩论平台促进各国学府的交流,让这颗热衷于思考、热爱华文的种子能够继续发扬光大。我也非常感谢我们的评委和教授们。

8. 借此机会,我也希望来自七个区域,不同的学府的年轻人,能够成为朋友。也希望我们新加坡的同学们,老师们,能尽地主之谊,带我们远道而来的朋友们,到一些本地著名的旅游景点参观,尝尝我们的地道美食,感受我们的热情,体验一下我们独特的新加坡文化。

总结

9. 最后,我非常期待在接下来能看到各队在比赛中精彩的针锋相对,展示华文华语的魅力。当然,友谊为先。我在这里,谨代表教育部预祝大家在比赛中有最好的表现,争取最好的成绩,也预祝我们第八届亚太大专华语辩论公开赛,圆满成功!

10. 感恩。谢谢大家。




Remarks in English

A very good morning to NTU faculty, alumni, staff and students,

Judges, debaters,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Students from the seven zones,

Introduction

1. It is my pleasure to be back home here, to join you at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), for the 8th Asia-Pacific Intervarsity Chinese Debate Tournament Opening Ceremony.

2. When I shared my Mandarin speech earlier, I highlighted the benefits of this tournament, which I will not repeat, and how it can be the platform to seed the passion for debate and the love for the Chinese language. At the same time, it can sharpen the mind and improve analytical skills as it trains us all on how to think on the spot. This is an important life skill in today’s digital era. It also helps us to improve our command and proficiency in the Chinese language, and fosters teamwork, as you come together in teams and work under time constraints.

3. If this is your first experience watching a debate, you will be intellectually stimulated and challenged to form your own opinion.

By Youth For Youth

4. This biennial Intervarsity Chinese Debate Tournament is an initiative by the NTU Chinese Society. I understand we have about 600 members. It has grown from strength to strength – from its early days as the Singapore-Malaysia Open to its current form as a regional competition, with representatives from seven economic zones.

5. Such projects that are organised “by the youth, for the youth” have a powerful and positive impact. It is not something that is top down, organised by the government, or by the school insisting that you do this. Instead, it is a ground-up initiative. The students felt that there was a gap for this project, and hence, it is organised by the students, for fellow students from the region. As young people come together like you, to explore and expound on your views and thinking, I am sure you are able to create waves to influence and encourage your peers.

6. Now, many years ago, when we first had this debate, we did not even have social media platforms. But as you go into the five days of competition, I am quite sure that the audience and participants will be tweeting away, riding on the social media platforms. Trust me, you actually have a multiplying impact on many other people, not just in Singapore, but also in the region, through your participation in this debate tournament.

7. And this year, the youth organisers have extended the tournament to Upper Secondary students. Like I mentioned, I think this is a really laudable effort because you are going upstream, to try to influence students who may have the talent and the latent strength to do this but did not know that they do. As we know, youths today have many things competing for their time and attention. So, it is important, to reach out to the Upper Secondary students, and make sure that this is something that remains on their radar screens.

8. And I know, the NTU Chinese Society reached out to the younger students through roadshows where they shared their enthusiasm and love for debate. We are very heartened that this youth platform looks set to grow as more young people join the tournament to have their voices heard.

9. I am very certain that our younger students will find good role models in their older peers. Maybe, you participated in this tournament because you were very inspired by a senior. You will, in turn, be a role model for your younger peers. I am sure many of you came because you were inspired to take part in community and outreach projects. On the same note, I hope you will also inspire many of your juniors to do the same.

Conclusion

10. In conclusion, I would like to thank the NTU Chinese Society for their efforts in organising this tournament and the roadshows. 27 of them came together and worked very hard as a team to pull off this tournament. Usually, for events organised at the university level, they will stay confined to the university or national level. But this is a regional tournament, and I think it is a really laudable effort. Can we put our hands together to thank them and encourage them?

11. All the best to the 24 teams. I really look forward to seeing you give your best in the tournament, hear your views and also creative ideas. I always feel that the sound bites at the tournament are very interesting and worth profiling by the various media. It is always refreshing to listen to young people like yourselves.

12. I would like to encourage all of you to go beyond this competition, make friends and try to step out of your comfort zone. I hope you will build friendships, rapport and bonds with the others, so that they will be your friends for life. Let’s continue to engage in healthy debates, hold intellectual and cultural exchanges, and spread the passion for doing good in our society. On this note, I want to wish you all a wonderful debate and tournament ahead.

13. Thank you very much.


Footnotes
  1. http://apchinesedebate.com/jian_jie.php

  2. http://apchinesedebate.com/viewpost.php?id=10

  3. See http://www.orientaldaily.com.my/south/nm56920204711; and http://apchinesedebate.com/viewpost.php?id=12

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