The Voice of His Generation: Asia's Top Debater Syed Saddiq

By now, you're probably familiar with Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman. A three-time winner of the Asian British Parliamentary (ABP) Debating Championship’s Asia’s Best Speaker award, he has represented the country in various competitions worldwide. 

Syed is very vocal about his thoughts regarding the country and the government. Remembering a few months back, his comments made news throughout the country - garnering backlash from various institutions.

syed saddiq

However, this has not stopped him. He continued to educate people, especially the youth. In an interview, Syed said, "I would never be able to look myself in the future if I silence myself. Because my moral conscience will forever be corrupted due to whatever personal gains I might get if I keep quiet." As evident as it is today, this part-time lecturer and debate trainer will go on to empower the younger generation by making their voices heard. 

In this interview, we get to know more about this student achiever and find out his university life, how he gets through every day in the school, and his future plans as a Law graduate. 

How did you decide on what course to study after your high school? 

It's a combination of factors. It's based on my passion, future prospects, my expertise etc. It's always important to consider all factors before making a possibly life changing decision.

What made you decide to go to International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)?

IIUM has a great law school. It's well known among the prominent firms in Malaysia and I'll also gain the job flexibility in the field of shariah law & Islamic banking. 

IIUM also has an exceptional debating center. Debating has always been my passion & IIUM has facilitated me in that path. I am privileged to have won awards & receive numerous of job offers based on the skillsets I obtained through debating.

Share with us any memorable experience during your university life. What makes it unforgettable?

When I first entered IIUM, I'd never imagine being where I am at today. I'd never imagine being a world record holder at the World Universities Debating Championship. I'd never imagine receiving the "Anugerah Perdana Belia Award", the most lucrative award among Malaysian Youth. I'd never imagine travelling to more than 25 countries teaching and lecturing on Public Activism & debating. 
However, IIUM has equipped me with the necessary skill sets to enable me to experience all of these in life changing moments.

Syed during TEDxYouthKL

Syed in one of his speaking engagements, TEDxYouthKL

The memorable experience is the "view in hindsight" which I still see today.

What are the top three tips you will give to students who would like to study Law?

  • You must have the passion to speak up for those who are voiceless. Reading the law is not only about getting good grades. It equips you with the ability to help those who have been exploited by existing laws, or by those who do not abide by the law. If you have the passion, you'll be able to weather any storm. 
  • READ READ & READ Don't only read law books. Read interesting cases. Read the world news. Read anything which can enrich your train of thought as a lawyer. Being a critical thinker is a critical prerequisite of an exceptional law student. This can only be obtained via the love & passion for reading.
  • Perseverance Law school can be tough. It's physically & psychologically taxing. Fight the temptation to give up. Remember the passion which lies deep down in you. 

What are the top five items you cannot live without during college?

  • Laptop
  • Smartphone
  • Internet
  • Books & Magazines
  • My stationery 

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

I love public policy and politics. Most importantly, my love for Malaysia is unparalleled. I believe that I'll take up any job which falls within those two fields which can maximise my contribution to Malaysia. 

syed quote

(photos courtesy of Syed Saddiq and Glam Lelaki)

Posted on 09 Oct 2017
Courses, Student Life, Useful Tips

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