IPOH: K. Dhirren Amaresha was a picture of confidence as he delivered his speech at the Piala DiRaja Public Speaking competition held in conjunction with Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah’s birthday.
With the title “The Royal Institution - Custodian of Religion, Customs and Culture”, the SMK Methodist (ACS) Ipoh fifth former’s speech won the hearts of judges with his eloquence and emerged champion in the English category finals held at Perak FM auditorium on Saturday.
Dhirren, who took home cash worth RM750, a trophy and a certificate, said he did not expect to win as it was his first foray into a public speaking competition.
“The topic given is actually hard because I was not really familiar with the Royal Institution. However, after doing some reading and research, I found this topic to be very interesting.
“This is one the advantages that I’ve gained by joining this competition. It has improved my knowledge. It took me about two weeks to prepare for the competition,” said Dhirren who aspires to be a lawyer.
He dedicated the success to his parents and teachers for their endless support.
“Without them, I wouldn’t be able to win and bring back this trophy. But the most exciting thing is that I received this trophy from our Sultan (of Perak). I couldn’t be happier.”
The final competition were divided into two categories - English and Bahasa Melayu, and saw six participants from the secondary schools in the state took part in the competition.
C. Gaiyethiry and R. Lydia Jayati, from SMK Convent Teluk Intan and SMK Treacher Methodist, Taiping won a second and third place respectively.
For the Bahasa Melayu category, Mohammad Danial Haikal Mohd Sauji, 17, from SMK Raja Permaisuri Bainun Ipoh came out top.
Mohammad Danial won the jury with his speech titled “Konsep Raja berdaulat memayungi pentadbiran kerajaan yang teratur” (The concept of a sovereign ruler ensuring order in government administration).
In the same category, Muhammad Zul Zarif Mohd Zakuan from SMK Taman Tasik Taiping emerged as the first runner-up and Dayana Jalaludin from Sekolah Sains Bagan Datuk won third place.
The competition was graced by Sultan Nazrin and his consort, Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim.
Also present were Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan.
Universiti Sultan Azlan Shah Vice-Chancellor Tan Sri Professor Dr Nordin Kardi was head judge.
Panel of judges for Bahasa Melayu category were Sime Darby Bhd Non-Independent Non-Executive Director of the Board Tan Sri Dr Wan Mohd Zahid Moh (correct) Noordin, Dewan Negara Perak member Datuk Seri Zainal Adzam Abd Ghani, and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institute of Ethnic Studies Principal Fellow Prof Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong.
For the English category, panel of judges were New Straits Times Group Editor Yushaimi Maulud Yahya, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia’s Faculty of Major Languages Studies senior lecturer Dr Suraini Mohd Ali and senior lecturer of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris’ Faculty of Language and Communication senior lecturer Prof Datuk Dr Tunku Mohani Tunku Mohtar.