KUALA LUMPUR: After more than 100 hours of battling with words, a record was set.
The marathon 100-hour Bahasa Malaysia debate came to a close yesterday, with the participants clocking 100 hours, 10 minutes and 44 seconds, and gaining entry into the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR).
Almost 400 students from public and private higher education institutions, schools and organisations took part in the debate, which was organised by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).
The details of the event are also being submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records for consideration.
The last session of the debate saw a team from UiTM squaring off against a team made up of public university students, on the topic of the internationalisation of education.
The excitement in the room at the DBP premises was apparent, with everyone cheering when the 100-hour mark was met.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, DBP director-general Datuk Dr Firdaus Abdullah said he hoped the cooperation between DBP and UiTM to promote the Malay language would continue.
UiTM Vice-Chancellor Datuk Seri Prof Dr Ibrahim Abu Shah commended the debaters on their “bold and worthy” achievement.
“We cannot run away from the reality that it is our responsibility to ensure that our mother tongue is respected,” he said.
The debate, which kicked off on Dec 19, saw 130 teams locked in arguments on 200 topics ranging from economics and politics to social issues.
The previous record in the MBR for a debate was also held by UiTM, for a 50-hour English debate held in August.