Debate Competition in Batu Pahat (Part 1)

9 Jun

It all started where 12 students from Chung Ling High School participated in the inter-school Chinese debate competition and won that competition. Therefore, they proceeded to the next round, that is competing with various schools from all around Malaysia to determine who is the real champion in this competition.

I went to Batu Pahat, Johor as a supporter as 4 front runners representing Penang to compete in this competition. Before heading there,we gathered at the Sungai Nibong  Express Bus Station to travel to Batu Pahat by bus. (duh!)

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Gathering… Sorry for the blurriness, wasn’t really concentrating…

Wooi Keat and I sat together in the bus, since both of us did not want to get the air-cond full force. There was a little commotion going on, as Chin Chern was left out with no seat near our group, so he had to sit way at the back of the bus.  Nevertheless, we got our seats respectively and the bus moved at around 10:30 pm. At first, we talked a lot and was excited but as the night drifted away, noise could not be heard…

It was an excruciating 8-hour journey to Batu Pahat, after dropping some passengers at Muar and Johor Bahru. We were dropped off at the Batu Pahat Bus Terminal at 6 in the morning…

Then, we walked to Garden Hotel, which was just two blocks away from the bus terminal.

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Since we were way too early, we couldn’t check in and slept at the lobby for 2 hours before touring around the town.

I noticed 2 things about Batu Pahat. First, this town proved abnormal to Penangnites. This town was still deserted with no shops opened, no car passing at 8 in the morning. Penang would be quite busy at this hour, but Batu Pahat is still sleeping at this hour. Secondly, do you all know Tamadun Indus? They talked about bandar terancang , where bandar berasaskan blok-blok berbentuk segi empat dengan setiap blok dipisahkan oleh satu rangkaian jalan raya yang lurus dan bersambung antara satu sama lain. That is what Batu Pahat reminded me of. Every street was straight, and there were crossroads everywhere…

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These pictures above were taken at 8:30 in the morning… Even if they were cars around, we didn’t hesitate to look at the roads before crossing, because all the cars drove slowly like tortoises.

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Touring around Batu Pahat. To my surprise, Batu Pahat preserved the traditional Chinese heritage buildings well.

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Many traditional places can be seen in this quiet town.

Then, we stopped by to have our first Johor breakfast in a cafe, where a few people can be seen only.

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The leftover of Johor Char Koay Teow… It doesn’t taste spicy but sweet.

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Chin Chern, remember him? The team mate of the Chinese Pem Recital team. This is him, with his cute finger-twitching pose. Try to mimic his hands, while bending all of your fingers…

Kai Deng, probably remember him too?

The cute and adorable, panda-eyed Khai Hean.. And no, the light caught his middle finger, so he was not giving me the bad sign.

Wooi Keat, which his normal pose. Nose big, mouth shut.

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and the rest of the Fifth Formers…

After having our breakfast, we headed back to the hotel to wait for another 1 hour, before temporarily using one of the organizing committee’s hotel room to refresh.

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Chin Chern and I slept on the bed while the other were busying playing cards. Some of them bathed but once Kai Deng went in, the bathroom door was unlock able and soon, everybody was occupied with peeking into the bathroom.

Soon, noon came and we checked into our own rooms at the 4th floor. The 3-star hotel wasn’t really grand in appearance, but at least it was habitable than CB Motel. ahem, ahem!

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The beds were neatly made and more comfortable to sleep in. Most of us slept, forgetting about the time.DSCN0649 DSCN0651

Chatting and having fun in room 408 and 409…

After some well-deserved afternoon siesta, we walked to Marybrown Fast Food, which was 3 blocks away from our hotel to have our lunch. We ordered a lot of food and shared among us…

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We did not have to pay for our lunch, which I think exceeded RM 50 already… We met with our teacher there too, who came from Kuala Lumpur. After the heavy lunch, we continued walking back to the bus terminal to book tickets to go back to Penang. Unfortunately, all the tickets from Batu Pahat to Penang were sold out. Therefore, we could only compensate with tickets going to Puduraya, Kuala Lumpur for a brief stop, before heading back to Penang there. The salesmen at the bus terminal were busying promoting their bus services and it really sounded like I was in the market.

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We waited for the long queue, while inhaling all the poisonous gas and enduring all the loud honks. Even at the 2 in the afternoon, not many people can be seen on the Batu Pahat roads other than the bus station. Creepy! We were told to hold on to our bags tightly  as the Batu Pahat is a dangerous place for criminals.

Later that day, few teams arrived at the hotel and checked into their rooms too. We all gathered at Room 412 for our discussion about the motion for tomorrow’s competition.

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Discussing…

We discussed until 5:30 in the evening, before having our another round of sleep again. Somehow, Batu Pahat made most of us felt sleepy. I looked through the window, and still, not many cars passed Jalan Jenang… At 7, we had our dinner in a very very very shabby-looking cafe, tasting their so-called specialty.

You know the Black Chicken Soup?  乌鸡? The chicken was black like soot, and I even dared not to touch that soup for fear it might be too nutritious for my body, after hearing Wooi Keat and Khai Hean’s past experience with this black chicken. We had a bowl of Yam Rice and 2 dishes of vegetables. I tell you, IT WAS NOT ENOUGH FOR US! We were still starving actually.

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We walked back to the hotel to watch the very first preliminary round of the Chinese Debate Competition between Johor and Johor (Outcast). Two different schools from the same state competed in an impromptu debate competition, and the outcome was not really enjoyable to watch. Since they can only prepare hours the competition, it clearly affected their performance on stage. In the end, Johor (Outcast) survived the first preliminary round, and will compete with another state in the Quarter Finals.

After that, we went back to our rooms and prepared for tomorrow’s battle against Kelantan in our preliminary  round. Since Chin Chern and I were not the front runners, we slept first together and Wooi Keat came back hours after that, all tired.

Did Penang survive the preliminary round against Kelantan? Find out more!

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