Thursday, November 21, 2019

Malaysia's True Colours (LAWASIA 2019)

On 8 November 2019, a team of undergraduate law students from University of Malaya (UM) defeated the National University of Singapore (NUS) in a repeat of last year's final of the LAWASIA International Moot.

Team UM comprised of three mooters (in alphabetical order):

Esther Hong - a fiery Chinese lady from the Western peninsular port of Malacca.

Nevyn Vinosh - a suave Indian gentleman from the Eastern peninsular city of Kuantan.

Nurul Zafirah - a charming Malay lady from the city of Kuching in the island of Borneo across the South China Sea.

Indeed, we came from all corners of Malaysia. We were a cauldron of criss-crossing cultures. We had diverse cast of colourful characters.

Team UM was truly made in Malaysia.

Malaysia Boleh!

Team 1Malaysia

* * *

In the beginning, 4 teams from UM entered the National Rounds of LAWASIA. Despite their heroic efforts, 3 teams fell short from progressing deeper into the competition.

(More about the other teams: The Fantastic Four (LAWASIA 2019)).

In a tight final, our sole remaining team prevailed over the Advanced Tertiary College (ATC) in the Malaysian Final Round. Both teams qualified for the International Rounds in Hong Kong to fly the Malaysian flag with pride.

In Hong Kong, the final four came down to UM, ATC, NUS and the host, Hong Kong Shue Yan University.

And in the Semi-Final, Malaysia drew first blood as Team UM defeated NUS. However, in the second round, NUS hit back with a vengeance by defeating and knocking out ATC.

It was déjà vu all over again from last year. Malaysia v Singapore. UM v NUS.

And Malaysia won.

* * *

Who were the brave patriots from Team UM? Let's get to know them, one-by-one (in reverse order of seniority):

The super junior was Zafirah. LAWASIA was her first ever mooting competition. She had the steepest learning curve. She hardly had time to test the waters, and dove straight into the deep end of the ocean. Remarkably, she didn't panic nor sink. A fast learner, she managed to even overtake seasoned mooters from the other teams. From round to round, she grew in strength. A new rising star indeed!

If you were to judge by looks and speech alone, you could easily mistake Nevyn as a senior law student. But no, he's only entering his second year! Not one to wait for time and tide to trickle in, he has grabbed mooting head-on by its horns. In his first year, he has been industriously farming experience points from minor moot competitions, such as the Vis Pre-Moot and inaugural KL Bar Moot. LAWASIA is his first breakthrough performance, but definitely not his last at the rate he's accelerating.

Much lyrical has been waxed on Esther for her previous exploits in Price Media:
"I must admit, the first time I saw Esther during the Novice Moot Competition back in 2016, all kinds of caricatures were running through my head. Her team had 3 other Chinese chicks, which didn't help to send the right signals...
But once she spoke, my initial stereotypical impressions receded. She was full of fire and passion. Her grammar was left wanting, though. A raw diamond, I noted back then, with lots of prickly parts and jarring glare when looked at certain angles..."
Till today, her grammar isn't perfect. Some judges remain critical of her 'emotional' presentation. But despite it all, she hasn't lost her shine. Her overall brilliance overshadows her minute imperfections.

First, Asia... Next, the WORLD!

* * *

Three different origins, but one single goal.

In this day and age, multi-ethnic communities worldwide are assailed by insidious forces hell-bent at tearing the social fabric apart. Malaysia, too, sits at the cusp of integration and disintegration.

Nevertheless, Team UM believes in unity through diversity. We stand for meritocracy. A win for Team UM is a win for all Malaysians.

Thank you, saudari Zafirah, lenglui Esther, and macha Nevyn!

Thanks for showing the world the true colours of Malaysia.

Terima kasih!

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