Sabah's rep tops national oratory competition
Published on: Monday, September 24, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah's representative Mohd Rafee Mohamad emerged champion in the national level Pidato Kenegaraan competition held at UiTM's Dewan Al Bukhary, here, Sunday. The 30-year-old from Johor, who currently serves at the Sabah Education Department as Assistant Director in Asset Management, bagged RM3,000, trophies and a certificate.

Current issues and points which he raised during his 13-minute public speaking presentation In Bahasa Malaysia on "Internet and Social Media Connecting Informative Society" earned him the top spot after beating four other finalists.

"It took me a month to prepare for the competition.

"The pressure was there but I wanted to give my best since I am representing host Sabah," said Mohd Rafee, who won third place in the previous national level public speaking competition held in Kedah two years ago.

In that competition, he represented Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya while serving in the Ministry of Education in Putrajaya.

Mohd Rafee's next plan is to do his Masters in Public Policy, a course sponsored by the Korean government in Korea.

"I want to bring Bahasa Malaysia to international level," said Mohd Rafee, who is ninth of 13 siblings.

Meanwhile, student Anis Hazirah Zakaria, who represented Terengganu, and Negeri Sembilan's Nurfatin Syahira Zolkafli, a part-timer at the Higher Learning Education Department, won second and third place, respectively.

The prizes were presented by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Information Department Malaysia Director-General Dato Ibrahim Abdul Rahman. The event was organised by the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia through the Information Department.

"I welcome events such as this," said Shafie, who took time from his busy schedule to listen to some of the public speaking presentations.

"This is one step we must improve and our ability to deliver information as broad as possible is important as a way of contributing to enlighten the people of Malaysia towards unity despite different circumstances of our lives," he said.

He said it is necessary to ensure love for the country not only in one's words or one's act of flying the Jalur Gemilang, but based on one's practices and contribution to the nation.

"We want to strengthen unity in the country so that Malaysia remains a strong nation and this is one of the ways and means for us to convey information to the people across the country," he said.

The competition was open to those 18 and above and aimed at raising awareness, knowledge and understanding of national policies.

It was also one of the programmes to empower the use of the national language among the people in addition to strengthening the spirit of unity in the multi-racial society.

State-level competitions held from April to August received 637 entries nationwide from various races compared to 556 entries last year.

The Pidato Kenegaraan competition is an annual event with the total number of entries expected to increase next year. - Sherell Jeffrey


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