Sing Tao

Top Posts of the Year 2012

Another year, and a rather busy year, and the world hasn’t ended. So time permitting, PaulLau.com can continue. I haven’t quite managed to post once a day, but somehow I think reality is going to put a damper on that idea either way. There were as many views in 2012 as there have been since this blog started in October 2009. We also had the best day so far with nearly 2,000 views January Here’s a look back at the top posts of 2012.

1. WUDC 2012 Tab and [RESULTS]
Once the prize of WSDC related posts, it seems that WUDC has managed to claim the first position this year. A lot of interest in this post, particularly at the end of 2012 with WUDC 2013 Berlin happening at the same time.

2. WUDC 2012 [MOTIONS]
I’ve stopped posting event details, but I still think motions are incredibly useful both for recording purposes and for other people to use as a reference.

3. WSDC 2012 Team Tab by Speaks [RESULTS]
WSDC sneaking back into the picture here. An interesting post given the unconventional nature of the way of sorting teams. Some interesting ingishts could nevertheless be gleaned though.

4. WUDC 2012 Grand Final Video
A very strong Grand Final performance by all the teams involved. Well recomended!

5. WSDC 2012 Top 10 Speakers
6. WSDC 2012 [MOTIONS]
7. WSDC 2012 Round-up [RESULTS]
8. WSDC 2012 Final Team Rankings
9. WSDC 2012 Grand Final [RESULTS]
10. Exams
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Sing Tao 2012: Semi-Final Results, Grand Final Match-up

Yesterday saw the semi-finals of the 2011-2012 Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition hosted at St. Joseph’s College. Diocesan Girls’ School (Affirmative) defeated Diocesan Boys’ School on the motion that ‘The Hong Kong government should amend the Marriage Ordinance to give transsexuals the right to marry.’ La Salle College successfully opposed St. Paul’s Co-Educational College on the motion that ‘Recruiting mainland athletes to compete for Hong Kong does more good than harm to Hong Kong’s sporting development’. Both DGS and LSC won by 3 votes to 1.

This means that the Grand Final, on the 12th of May, will be contested between LSC and DGS. Both schools have a history in the Sing Tao competition, being the two of just 3 schools that have won the Sing Tao in the last 6 editions. With South Island School winning in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011; DGS won in 2007 and LSC in 2009. I am pretty sure that both teams will feature members of the Hong Kong Debate Team, Natalie So from DGS and Ben Allen from LSC. DGS have won the Sing Tao 6 times; in 1987, 1989, back to back in 1996 and 1997 as well as in 2002 and 2007. However, La Salle does have the more recent success in 2009 as well as winning the Senior HKSDC tournament in September last year and again in February earlier this year.

It looks to be a tight competition with two well accomplished teams facing off. I myself sadly won’t be able to attend the Grand Final, but I look forward to the DVD when it does come out.

Sing Tao 2011 Competition DVD

As is the case every year, it is now possible to purchase the annual Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition DVD. In the past, this has included the Grand Final debates, interviews with the Champions and some comments by the judges. This year, it appears that the DVD will include clips of the semi-finals although it is yet unclear how extensive their inclusion will be. If the entirety of the two semi-finals are included, that will make the DVD considerably longer. That said, it may make the deal a whole lot sweeter.

From the Sing Tao Website:
The DVDs feature the semi-final and grand final competitions of the English and Chinese champion teams at the 26th Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition. The discs also include useful comments from renowned judges Prof. Arthur Li and Prof. Ma Ngok.

Available until the 26th of July, you can purchase a copy of what is officially called the “Debate and Liberal Studies II” DVDs by filling in the form seen below and presenting a designated coupon printed in the “Sing Tao Daily” newspaper along with HKD $28.

The form and further details can be found at http://www.singtao.com/debate/index_c18_2.html. Sadly, only a Chinese version is available.

Defending champions triumph again

From http://www.singtao.com/debate/index_e09_007.html in《The Student Standard》26 May, 2011
Written by Jonathan Chong

South Island School beat Chinese International School to emerge victorious at the 26th Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition (English Section) last Friday

THE Grand Final of the inter-school debating competition was held at Queen Elizabeth Stadium (伊利沙伯體育館) on May 20. The motion for the day was: ‘The MTR should withdraw the Fare Adjustment Mechanism’. The defending champions, South Island School (南島中學), were in favour, whereas Chinese International School (漢基國際學校) were against the motion.

  Tiffany Chung, the captain of South Island School, confidently strode up to the front of the stage in her black high-heeled shoes like a high-powered businesswoman and asked the audience, “How many of you took the MTR coming here today?” She was loud, forceful and jabbed her finger at the audience like an irate schoolmaster dealing with a naughty schoolboy.
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We are the champions

From http://www.singtao.com/debate/index_e_oldnews023.html in《The Student Standard》22 May, 2008
Written by Wendy Wong

South Island School reclaims debating crown in exciting final, writes Wendy Wong
THE applause and cheers of than 1,500 students, teachers and parents were part of the reward as South Island School (SIS 南島中學) fulfilled its dream of recapturing the English debating crown it lost last year.

  South Island defeated Shau Kei Wan Government Secondary School (SGSS筲箕灣官立中學) in the Grand Final of the 23rd Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition on May 16. Victory was doubly sweet because the team’s first speaker Paul Lau (劉俊文) – at 13 the youngest participant in the tournament – was named the competition’s best debater.

  Sixty schools took part in the annual tournament which was spread over five months. South Island said it was very happy to have won again.

  ”We feel great as it’s a really good and tough competition to win,” said Prakash Sanker, the team captain.
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Dark horse pulls off an emphatic win

From http://www.singtao.com/debate/index_e_oldnews021.html in《The Student Standard》12 May, 2006

AFTER nearly six months of cut-and-thrust debating, the ultimate winner of the 21st Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition finally triumphed in the grand final on 5 May.

Rather a dark horse until the middle of this year’s championship, South Island School (SIS) crushed the dreams of Ying Wa Girls’ School, last year’s 1st runner-up, to triumph in the 2006 championship after the two-time defending champion St. Joseph’s College, Hong Kong was knocked out in the preliminary round.
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And the 2011 Sing Tao champion is…

And the Sing Tao champion is…

South Island School once again emerged victorious in the Grand Final of the 26th Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition, successfully defending their crown whilst also taking home the Best Speaker prize that eluded the team last year.

Proposing the motion that ‘the MTR should withdraw the Fare Adjustment Mechanism’, the South Island School debate team was lead by Captain Tiffany Chung, the only remaining member from SIS’s victorious team just one year earlier. Joining her on stage were two of last year’s floor speakers, Pavan Hegde and Saharsha Karki.
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Year in Review

NOTE: While writing this post, an interesting observation came to mind. The many highlights of my year, as recognized in this post, also popped up on a regular basis in the annual list of ‘Top Post of the Year‘.

The start of this decade, the year 2010 can most accurately called a year of transition. It may have lasted only for 12 months, but it sure fells like I’ve done a heck of a lot of stuff in that time.

By the start of the year, preparations were in full swing for WSDC 2010 in Doha, Qatar. We had long hours of preparation, debates and meetings, often going from 5pm to 10pm in our little SIS hide-out. But we nevertheless felt quite prepared as we set off for Doha in Feb 2010. WSDC itself was a joy and an honor as can be gathered from my WSDC Reflection. We didn’t get to the quarters, but lost gallantly to Australia in the Octo-finals and everyone on the team ranked in the top 50 speakers. Coming in 45th in such a competitive and tough year was delightful. Many thanks to Annette, Ben, Heather, Prakash and Greg who taught me so much.
10 months later in Dec 2010, I transitioned from Team Hong Kong to Team Wales and once again, I’ll hopefully be blogging all the way to WSDC 2011 in Dundee, Scotland.

Domestically, I was able to graciously bow out of HK Debating with sweet victory in the Grand Final of the 25th Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition after loosing out in 2008-2009. We also saw the beginning of the Hong Kong Schools Debating Council in April 2010 with the website http://hksdc.wordpress.com still going strong after overtaking PaulLau.com in about half the time.

It was just before the Sing Tao finals that I received an unassuming phone call notifying me that I had been accepted to UWC Atlantic College in the UK, sparking the biggest transition of this year, and certainly of my life so far.

Despite this, I still had my remaining IGCSE exams to finish, themselves stretching from late April to late May. I had to wait all summer for the results to come out. When they did, they didn’t really come as a surprise with a string of poor runs together with the odd gem. It was a tough pill to swallow, but by then I’d had the IB to worry about.

My home away from home - Morgannwg


That was because I was many miles away in South Wales, starting at Atlantic College. By all counts, it hadn’t been an easy transition. I’d been studying at South Island School for a full five years now and the things that the time has build are things not easily replaced. My last moment with the class of 2012 was a Dinner Dance 2010. It not only marked an end, but featured a first, the first time I participated in a ‘dance’, if you can call it that.

When one door closes, another opens. And so in late August, I transitioned many miles, from HK to the UK to begin my studies at UWC AC

2011 will see fewer changes and a whole lot more of building upon existing structures. Hopefully though, it will be just a colorful as 2010.

Top Posts of the Year

We’ve just turned a corner and now are in 2011. PaulLau.com is now 16 months old and still going strong with over 23,000 views and over 180 posts. 2010 was my first full year of blogging and featured all the expected ups and downs. Here’s a round up of the top posts of 2010.

Notably in 2010 was the WSDC 2010 series covering the 2010 World Schools Debating Championships in Doha, Qatar which featured 29 posts and stole 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th and 9th spot in this Top Posts of the Year list. Whether a result of reader interest or just because it was the most common topic on my blog, debating related posts took 7 out of the top 10 and 15 out of the top 20 posts of 2010.

1. 2010 World Cup Broadcasting [1ST ALL TIME]

This post came out in March, when the issue was gaining considerable media attention. Interestingly enough, come May, the issue was the topic of the Sing Tao Grand Final (see the 10th Top Post). The issue may have been resolved for now, but it won’t be until 2014 before we know if the stations have truly resolved similar disputes.

2. WSDC – Final Rankings [3RD ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, this post was the culmination of more than a weeks of debating. It brings together the team and individual results of the 2010 WSDC and by-in-large drew to a close WSDC 2010 for PaulLau.com

3. The Story Behind Football Shirt Swapping [4TH ALL TIME]

During my IGCSE Media Studies revision, I stumbled upon a New York Times Article that detailed the story behind the tradition of Shirt Swapping in Football.

4. WSDC – Results [5TH ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, this post had the immediate results following the Closing Ceremony. It helped provide instant information before the WSDC – Final Rankings post (see the 2nd Top Post) replaced it.

5. UWC Principal Personnel Changes [6TH ALL TIME]

Shortly after Neil Richard’s ‘resignation’ was announced, there was a lot of furor within UWCs around the world about Principal resignations, changes and departures. As a result, I summarized the 3 principal changes at LPC, AC and MI.

6. WSDC – Break [7TH ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, it took a while for me to calm down after learning that HK would break into the Octo-finals. But once I did, I was able to posts the full break, frantically copied down during a few tense minutes at the WSDC 2010 Break Night Party.

7. WSDC – Round 1-4 Team Results [8TH ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, the results after round 1, 2, 3 and 4 representing the mid-way mark at WSDC 2010.

8. WSDC – Final Draw [9TH ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, this is one of the few top posts related to the run-up to WSDC 2010. Indeed, many readers were first notified of their countries draw through this post.

9. Hong Kong Schools Debating Council [10TH ALL TIME]

After many frantic hours of work, messaging and coding on wordpress, me and Heather finally managed to cobble together the HKSDC website at http://hksdc.wordpress.com. The website and the organization, the Hong Kong Schools Debating Council was successfully launched in April.

10. Sing Tao Grand Finals 2010

This Grand Final was not only my last Sing Tao debate, it was also my last debate in Hong Kong and for South Island School. It capped a wonderful journey that really began at the Sing Tao Grand Final in 2006 and ended on the 4th May. Thank you to everyone that I’ve had the joy of sharing the journey with.

Honorary Mentions

11. Tabbing Software
12. HK Bid for 2023 Asian Games
13. WIDPSC Day 1 & 2
14. 10 Things to do if you Finish Exams Early
15. WIDPSC 2010 – Lithuania
16. WSDC – Quarter & Semi-Final
17. WSDC – Round 3 & 4
18. WSDC – Aus vs HK Octofinal
19. WIDPSC 2010 – Results
20. Chinese Sport School System

Island School Debate History

Island School are historically known to have been quite good at debating, to put it lightly. Lead by the legendary Mr. Chris Forse who was also a driving force behind the current Hong Kong Model United Nations. Island School are the first team to win a “trio of victories” in 5 years with exactly one year between each win. (the other school is South Island School) Island School won the Sing Tao Debating Competition in the academic years 85-86, 87-88 and 89-90. Although the school’s debating victories have dwindled in the past few years, its powerful legacy still remains in the record books.
Recently, while researching, I stumbled across the following excerpts written for the Island School Alumni Yearbook by the man himself, Mr. Chris Forse, detailing Island School’s debating success in the 1980s and the 1990s.

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