After the Russian girl left the stage, there came the Singaporean guy, Muhammad Izwan bin Othman from National University of Singapore. He took Civil Engineering. And his speech was more like a debate rather than a stand-alone pidato.
And competitors came and left the stage. There was a Turki guy with an oversized baju Melayu, the sweet and cute Korean.
And the representative from Brunei, Awang Haji Abdul Rashid bin Awang Haji Damit was also a crowd pleaser. He can make people laugh even without giving any punch line or joke. Oh and when I saw him performing, I knew that he would be landing whether on second or first place.
And then came our hero. Amirrudin. When he first entered the stage, was enough to make the crowd erupted into an uproar. He then started his speech. His speech was entitled ‘Bangsa Berilmu, Bangsa Bertamadun’. The crowd immediately reduced into a silence.
Then he spoke.
‘Assalamualaikum warahmatullahitaala wabarakatuh.
Firman-firman Tuhan yang menggetar jiwa dalam kitab paling mulia.
Santun bahasa Pali yang menggubah Tripitaka bacaan setiap penganut Buddha.
Atau helai-helai Veda yang dialun jadi lagu oleh pengamal ajaran Hindu.
Juga baris Injil, yang cekal dihayati oleh penuntut ajaran Triniti.
Semuanya membawa dogma yang sama: Ilmu wajib diteroka. Atas awal Nabi Adam mula diciptakan, penerokaan ilmu dan pembinaan tamadun sudahpun bermula. Maka percayalah kata-kata saya; BANGSA BERILMU, BANGSA BERTAMADUN.
Terima kasih saudara pengerusi-pengerusi Majlis, dif dif jemputan dan hadiran dan hadirat para pejuang dan pencinta negara bangsa sekalian.
Saudara dan saudari sekalian, saya tujukan pidato ini buat ibu tercinta di desa; wanita yang paling cekal, dan wanita yang paling saya cinta.’
Whoa! This opening itself sounded so prestigious, and the part when he mentioned that the pidato is for his mother, I can feel goosebumps. If I were him, surely my mother will be so proud.
And then he presented his ‘isi-isi penting’ part. Of which I found very emotional, as if he was in some sort of distress. It was very good, but I can tell that he was distracted by something. And I’m sorry to say this, but I think he can be much better.
I know he can do something really better and far more brilliant than this; I saw him debating since my junior year in University. All of his debates were greater than this pidato. And when I said so, then only I realised that pidato and debate are two different things. So it is comprehensible that Amir is more moderate in pidato, but extremely superior in debating. Or so I thought.
The kind of language he used was ‘Bahasa Melayu Tinggi’ and me myself never thought that Bahasa can sound so ingenious and classy, it was so great that every single word came from his mouth was constructing a poem that made people dream in an ocean of deep thought and emotions. The words played an important role to silent the whole audience. We were stupefied. He conveyed his pidato much better than Malaysian leaders; or even world leaders, if only they can speak Bahasa.
However, I was worried that Awang from Brunei will win. Awang was a great crowd pleaser; but Amir is a better crowd stupefi-er. If the judges enjoyed a relaxing one, they would always prefer Awang.
In his speech, Amir bashed all those people that think using English is very high class and that Bahasa is only a second class language. His speech was so convincing that suddenly me also feel very mad at those people (padahal I sendiri tulis entry ni dalam English..hehehe). Oh, and that’s why I write in English this time. I think I couldn’t explain the competition in perfect Malay like he did in his speech. Amir at least proved his point. He is a TESL student but he treasures his mother tongue more.
He condemned people who thought that Bahasa Melayu is a kampung language and not a knowledge language. (And that explains why our leaders came up with PPSMI) Amir then ended his speech with a perfection.
‘Maka untuk membina tamadun, bahasa ini (Bahasa Melayu) perlu diangkat, dan ilmu selalu perlu dimartabat oleh kita semua; rakyat Malaysia. Akhir kata, saya ingin anda merenung satu perkara. Betapa membina tamadun tidak sesingkat hujan menjadi awan. Bukan. Awan menjadi hujan. Pasir menjadi debu. Dan api menjadi abu. Tetapi, satu perkara yang perlu kita tahu; prosesnya tidak akan berhenti dan asasnya hanyalah satu: iaitu ilmu (pause), ilmu (pause), dan sememangnya ilmu.’
Whoa! Clap clap clap! And after several cliché 1Malaysia performance from MAKUM, then it was the moment of truth. The MC, Aidil Abdul Ghaffar announced the winners.
Third place goes to Singapore. First place?
“Sudah terang lagi bersuluh; Amirrudin Abd Rahman dari Malaysia!" The crowd cheered gleefully and excitedly! But instead of feeling happy, I was more glad. Because I was so afraid that Awang will win.
For I was too lazy to type the winners’ name, you can click here for the full result.
Then the event ended. We took some pictures with the competitors. I could not pity the Japanese more, since they were still shocked due to the tsunami and earthquake. They were very worried. We took pictures with a Japanese competitor, and she was still confused and sad. Nevertheless, she was professional. She didn’t turn us down. Instead, she smiled happily in the pictures.
We tried to find Amir later, but some media were still interviewing him.