KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 – The short messaging application WhatsApp has become an arena for debate and exchanging of views among students, both local and abroad, taking part in the 2014 National Student Leadership Conference (Pemanas). Umno Overseas Club secretary, Datuk Shariff Hamid said they made use of the application by creating eight WhatsApp groups from Nov 16 for students to debate on four issues which were of importance to youths.
“Each group comprises 20 to 30 graduates who were picked by local and foreign universities based on oratory prowess and exhibiting a high leadership quality. “They were placed in the WhatsApp groups, and each group is given a different focus, namely, economy, education, politics and religion to debate,” he told Bernama when met at the Pemanas Conference here, Saturday.
The conference was held at the Putra World Trade Centre here in conjunction with the 2014 Umno General Assembly on Nov 25-29. Explaining further how the cyberspace debate took place, Shariff said it was conducted without time limit and each group was handled by a moderator appointed by the Umno Overseas Club Alumni.
“The students in the groups are studying in Jordan, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, besides local higher educational institutions. “This diversity resulted in no fixed time frame being set because we understand the time difference and also their hectic pace as students with tasks and lecture schedules,” he said.
Shariff said the idea of creating the WhatsApp groups also enabled the students abroad not to be left behind in giving their views by taking into account experiences gleaned abroad. The idea, suggestion and findings from the debate would be proposed for the debate session tomorrow, by selected students, which would be carried out ala the parliament debate, Shariff added.