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Bioethics Debate on Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development

04 Jan 2019

As professionalism, ethics and personal development is one of the components of the 8 learning outcome domains of International Medical University (IMU), an intercampus debate about bioethics is organised biannually by the final semester medical students in order to facilitate discussions on ethical issues in an interactive way. The event was carried on 13 December 2018 in the main auditorium of Hospital Enche Besar Hajjah Khalsom (HEBHK), Kluang. The long-awaited debate was organised by the students of IMU Kluang Clinical School, under the guidance of Advisor, Prof Dato’ Dr Sivalingam Nalliah and Supervisor, Dr Hussein AKL. The debate focussed on the theme – Environmental Health Protection and Sustainable Development. The theme was selected in accordance with the bioethics core curriculum by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). We were mainly engaged in the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, Article 17 – Protection of the Environment, the Biosphere and Biodiversity, with emphasis on the importance of appropriate access and utilisation of biological and genetic resources, respect for traditional knowledge and the role of human beings in the protection of the environment, the biosphere and biodiversity. The event started at 9:30 am with registration of the participants, fellow students and lecturers followed by refreshments. Officially the programme started at 10:00 am with a morning prayer session by Muhd Azamuddin, a Muslim fellow student. We were pleased to have Dr Azura binti Abu Bakar, representative from the Administration Department of HEBHK to give an opening speech and initiated the programme. She expressed her welcome and encouragement for this event which is being organised annually in the hospital and acknowledged the students’ effort. She was then presented with a token of appreciation by Dr Hussein AKL on behalf of IMU. First Debate: “This House Believes that Edible Packaging Should Replace Traditional Packaging”

Government Team from IMU Kluang Clinical Campus Opposition Team from IMU Batu Pahat Clinical Campus
Mugilan Ganason, Khor Yin Ling and  Tan Chung Hoong Ng Kok Rui, Ang Song Peng and Hindraraaj Nagaratnam

It took a short period of time for the debate to escalate into an impressive exchange of points supported with facts. The battle was followed by feedback from the judges Prof Rifdy Mohideen, Prof Velayudhan and Alexander Soo (IMU Student from Batu Pahat). At the end of the session, the audience casted their votes for their favourite team. Votes incorporates 15% in their total marks and remaining 85% was taken from the marks given by the judges. Following the thought-provoking debates and a short interval, Mr Zuhairi bin Said, from the Johor Department of Environment gave an enlightening and informative presentation on Environmental Quality Act 1974, which emphasised on the importance of law, authorities as well as the public’s responsibility in protecting Mother Nature. He also encouraged the audience to participate as a team member in protecting the environment. At the end of his session, he presented a gift to IMU and Dr Hussein received the gift on behalf of the University. Second Debate: “This house will Invest in the Research and Development of Lab Grown Meat as Opposed to Agriculturally Grown Meat” 

Government Team from IMU Batu Pahat Opposition Team from IMU Kluang Clinical Campus 
Christel Renaeta, Loh Tze Heng and  Zaahil Ahamed Owayne Khoo, Aradhana Muttiah and Malisha W Surendre

It was an intense debate which was filled with laughter and endless information. Insightful feedback was given by the judges Dr Vijayaraghavan, Dr Hussein AKL and Shaarvin Pillai (IMU Student from Kluang). After the feedback session, members of the audience casted votes for their favourite team.

Dr Vijayaraghavan was then invited to present the gifts to the Best Speaker, the winning team for both the sessions and all the participants.

Winning Team for First Debate Winning Team for Second Debate Best Speakers
Opposition Team Opposition Team Hindraraaj Nagaratnam and Aradhana Muttiah

To conclude the event, Dr Hussein AKL, our chairperson was invited to deliver a closing speech. He congratulated all the debaters for their notable performance and expressed his gratitude to Dr Azura binti Abu Bakar, all the IMU faculty who attended the event, secretaries, student organisers and Johor Department of Environment for making the event a success. All were invited for lunch, followed by an exhibition by the Environment Department. Written by Kirbashini Kanasan, IMU Medical Ethics and Environment Debate Student Coordinator and reviewed by Dr Hussein AKL, Senior O&G Lecturer, IMU Kluang Clinical Campus. Photo Credits: Irfan Muhammad,  Lim Yong Ler  

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