It is my honour to complete this rite for the 2013 national rounds.
The rounds began early on a misty Saturday morning, with two cars leaving the green hills of Shah Alam (A white WTD and a blue ABU) for the valleys where Universiti Malaya is located.
Registration had already begun when we arrived, trembling with trepidation, at around 8.30 am. After the brief introductory speeches from the hosts, along with the usual reminders on the rules set by ILSA for this competition, all of the teams left for their holding rooms eager to begin battle.
Unfortunately, (or fortunate, your take!) our rounds were in the afternoon. Hence we spent the time lounging around in the air conditioned tutorial room at the end of the hallways.
After an early lunch (for me at least), our afternoon sessions began.
(Picture: the team with Dr. Irwin, one of our dear coaches.)
Our first round was against the hosts themselves, the defending champions. With a humble confidence, agents Farhan Zafry and Hannah Nasir along with bench counsel Afif Daud began their superb attempt at defending a submerged state in front of three esteemed judges, in the large Tun Suffian auditorium.
The first round ended with a clear win for the UiTM Applicants, 8-1.
The second round featured agents Azim Razak and Marlysa Razak along with the trusted help of Afif Daud, against a worthy foe from the Universiti Utara Malaysia.
After answering question after question, UiTM again came up on top winning 9-0.
That was the end of the Saturday sessions, and we headed back to our homes for a much needed rest.
The second day began similar to the first day, with the exception of ABU being traded with a green Myvi.
The third round continued our title challenge, with the Applicants coming up against highly experienced agents from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
However, no matter what adverse strength were upon them, agents Farhan and Hannah managed to turn the tables around and dazzle with another win, this time for 6-3 (3 being memorial scores).
Later on, causing one of the agents to miss his lunch (hey, UM moot food is good!), the fourth round was to take place at 12.30. This time it was against a dreaded Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia side, as per the reputation this particular team had garnered this year when it earlier beat several acclaimed universities.
One of the difficult questions posed by the President in this round, is as to whether the agents for Respondent were indeed siblings. The agents hope the answer was satisfactory!
Climbing everest, or turning back and finding other ways to fight the huge challenge that the law posed, the Respondents from UiTM succeeded in defeating the USIM mooters. (I am unsure if it's 9-0 or 8-1, though.)
AND WE ARE THROUGH TO THE FINALS. WOO!
(The Respondents with Miss Ummi Hani, awaiting the final round.)
The sides for the finals were decided at the toss of a coin, and the lucky hand of Miss Ummi Hani (one of our beloved coaches) got us a place as the Applicants. Agents Zafry and Hannah were going to submit before the International Court of Justice, in front of a huge crowd at the Tun Suffian auditorium.
After deliberation (due to a tie), the International Islamic University of Malaysia went through to the finals instead of the hosts, Universiti Malaya.
Hence, this would now be the third big Malaysian team that the UiTM applicants would have to face.
(The team before the finals)
The round featured three highly esteemed judges, YA Dato' Mah Weng Kwai on the left, Datuk Gopal Sri Ram as the president of the ICJ in the center, and Mr. Stewart Manley from MMU on the right. (Positions were as per the competitors; and spectators' views)
The oralists barely got to get started before the President fired shot after shot, every salvo heavily damaging both sides' counsels as they rarely got to stick with the speeches earlier prepared. This coupled up with difficult questions posed by the other two judges, proved to make the final round a very nerve wrecking one indeed.
In the end, it was a very close fight and nobody had an inkling as to who would actually come out on top.
Results were to be announced at a later time, presumably after the judges deliberations, therefore everyone shuffled out with bated breath and white faces after the massacre we all observed.