Standing on a stage and speaking in public while challenging opinions with opponents is not an easy task. Most people would find it difficult, yet 19-year-old Mak Vichetsackda has done a splendid job in the debating program at the Asia-Pacific Debating Championship in Taiwan.
Born in Siem Reap, Mak Vichetsackda’s father is a soldier and his mother is a nurse. He is the youngest child. Presently, he is a fourth-year student at both the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL) and the Royal University of Law and Economics. Mak Vichetsackda is able to manage attending both educational establishments with ease. He has been an outstanding student in the evening classes at IFL since his first year.
In order to attend the debating program, Mak Vichetsackda and his group had to compete with another six groups from different schools and organisations including the University of Phnom Penh,
Pannasastra University of Cambodia, Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales and two teams from Junior Chamber International (JCI). In the national debating championship, his group won first place and was given the opportunity to represent Cambodia for JCI at the Asia Pacific Debating Championship in Taiwan.
His group had to debate with a special team consisting of members from JCI Ghana, Macau and Cambodia. His group was the winner. In the evening, there was another competition between JCI Taipei and JCI Cambodia. “I was so happy and proud that I can be part of the championship as a Cambodian citizen,” he said. “My group received the championship.”
People have different way of managing their nervousness. “I don’t try to suppress my nervousness. What I bear in mind is that I have to finish my speech, and there is nothing to worry about if you are trembling. To complement this, you also need to prepare well before going to the stage,” he said.
Besides being a debater for JCI, Mak Vichetsackda is also a volunteer for JCI and for school activities. He been part of many events, such as fund raising for charity, planting trees and beach clean ups.
Mak Vichetsackda was also selected to represent Royal University of Phnom Penh students to talk about how to improve the quality of higher education in ASEAN + 3 through community engagement.
MakVichetsackda is not reluctant to reveal the keys to his academic success. He said that “I have to set clear goals, define the necessary task to achieve the goal, prioritize the task according to time, and after I complete each task successfully, I give rewards to myself as motiv-ation to continue to work hard.”
In the future, he wants to be a teacher, so he can give back to society through educating the future generation. “I would like to thank my parents and relatives for all their kind deeds and to my teachers for their valuable lessons and my friends for their support,” he said.