Forensics of a different sort at tourney

The Star, February 23, 2007
Photos by SAMUEL ONG

Standing ovation: The audience applauds in appreciation as a pair of performers finish.

WHEN we think about forensics, the television series Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) always comes to mind. However, as far as the International School Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) South-East Asia Forensics Tournament is concerned, this is not at all true.

Instead of seeing detectives racing around solving dastardly crimes, spectators expect heartfelt soliloquies, satirical speeches and riveting battles of intellect.

In this instance, forensics refers to the art of oral expression, which encompasses acting, debating and public-speaking. The word “forensics” actually comes from a Latin term which means “to table something”.

The three-day tournament, now in its 29th year, has always been hosted by ISKL in Ampang.

“This tournament helps students improve their English” – TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR ALAN DOUGLAS MCLEAN

Last Friday, more than 300 students from 19 schools throughout Malaysia displayed their enthusiasm as they attempted to capture the hearts of the audience.

The schools were Victoria Institution (VI), Sri KDU, SMK Convent Bukit Nenas, SMK Assunta, International School of Kuantan, Hong Kong International School, SMK La Salle, Kolej Tuanku Jaafar, ISKL, ELC International School, SMK St Mary’s, Seri Inai PJ, Dalat International School, SMK Tinggi Setapak, St John’s Institution, Sekolah Seri Inai Kuala Lumpur, Garden International School and Sekolah Seri Garden and SMK Pandan Mewah.

VI won the Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz award for the second consecutive year while student Foo Fang Hai also won the extemporaneous speaking competition.

The SEA Forensics competition is a platform for schools in the region to show their talents in seven events – oral interpretation, original oratory, impromptu speaking, extemporaneous speaking, duet acting, solo acting and debate.

ISKL teacher and tournament director Alan Douglas Mclean said the popularity of the tournament was overwhelming and organisers had to restrict the number of schools each year.

“This year, we rejected two of three schools.

“I would encourage the Education Ministry to look into having a similar competition in each state for government schools as there are many schools wanting to take part.

“In fact, we have the International School of Kuantan coming here to compete.

“This tournament will help students improve their English, public speaking skills and stage fright,” he said.

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