Terms & Conditions

  1. Welcome to [sir.nstp.com.my] (the “Site”). This Site is owned and operated by The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad (“[www.nstp.com.my],” “NSTP, “Organisers”, “we,” or “us”).
  2. This Challenge is open to Malaysian citizens from Year 1 – Year 6 (Category 1 – Primary Level) and Form 1 – Form 5 (Category 2 – Secondary Level) who are enrolled in national, national–type and private schools using the Malaysian national education system.
  3. Each Participant is only allowed to represent the state that he or she is schooling in.
  4. The Online Preliminary Challenge and Online State Challenge for SIR 2017 will be conducted online via SIR Website or SIR app which can be installed from Google Play and App Store.
  5. The top 100 Participants from the Online Preliminary Challenge will be selected by the Organisers to compete in the Online State Challenge. Successful Participants will be notified via email.
  6. Selection of the top 100 participants will be based on the total score and the speed of spelling the words.
  7. State champions will be notified via email if they qualify to compete in the National Challenge.
  8. The Organisers reserve the right to reject any entry without giving any reasons whatsoever.
  9. By registering and completing the Online Preliminary Challenge, it is deemed that the Participants’ parents and/or guardians have given their consent for the Participant to take part in the Challenge.
  10. Each Participant must be accompanied by parents and/or guardians (18 years and above), referred to as ‘Representative’ to accompany the Participant during the entire National Challenge duration. The Representative is hereby authorised by the Participant to make any decisions necessary on his or her behalf.
  11. In the event that the Representative in Clause 10 above is unable to attend the National Challenge, he or she is required to find a replacement (‘nominated person’) to accompany the Participant on the event date. The Representative shall issue an authorisation letter for his or her replacement. The Organisers shall have the right to disqualify the Participant from the Challenge should his/her replacement fail to produce the authorisation letter.
  12. In reference to Clauses 10 and 11 above, the Representative shall be fully responsible for his or her replacement’s actions. The Organisers shall not be responsible in any manner whatsoever in finding a replacement of the Representative.
  13. The Organisers shall be indemnified and be held harmless against all actions, suits, claims, liabilities, losses, expenses and/or damages with respect to any claims arising out of any death, or personal injury, loss or damage claimed by a third party as a result of negligence, omission and/or willful act of the Participant and/or the Representative.
  14. On the day of the National Challenge, the Participant’s Representative MUST bring the confirmation letter from the New Straits Times and certified true copy of the Participant’s Identity Card.
  15. All Participants must be in full school uniform for the National Challenge.
  16. No aids will be allowed in the hall, on stage or on the Participants in any form. For example, no pens, paper, MP3 players, electronic devices, gadgets or mobile phones will be allowed on stage. A breach of this rule will be grounds for disqualification.
  17. No discussion or prompting will be allowed between Participants or from anyone in the hall or on stage. A breach of this rule will be grounds for disqualification.
  18. No prompting by the audience (in any form). If there are violations, the panel of judges has the right to withdraw the word or disqualify the Participant.
  19. In the event of disputes (for example, mispronunciation, ambiguity/uncertainty of word use, time or distractions), consultation will be made with the Members of the Organising Panel. Decisions made by the Members of the Organising Panel will be final. The Organisers will have absolute discretion over the conduct of proceedings. No appeals and objections for any reason whatsoever will be entertained.
  20. Accommodation will be provided for Participants and accompanying person from Peninsular States attending the National Challenge in Kuala Lumpur. Participants from Sabah and Sarawak will be provided accommodation and transportation.
  21. All finalists MUST use the centralised accommodation and transportation provided by the Organisers.
  22. The Organisers may at their sole discretion refuse any entry and cancel or postpone the event without due notice in the event of unforeseen circumstances. No claims of any kind arising from the abandonment, cancellation and/or postponement of the event shall be entertained.
  23. The Organisers and including but not limited to its sponsors will not be held responsible for any mishap, injury, damage and/or loss suffered by any Participant, the Representative, and/or the nominated person.
  24. Participant is not able to limit the processing of his or her and the Representative and/or nominated person personal information for the Challenge. If you do not consent to the Organisers including but not limited to NSTP, its agents, employees, and/or contractors processing the personal information for the challenge, it is not advisable for Participant to register for RHB New Straits Times National Spell-It-Right Challenge.
  25. The Organisers including but not limited to its parent company and subsidiaries reserve the right to publish and display the winners’ names and their photographs and audio and/or visual recording for advertising and publicity purposes without compensation and prior notification to the winners.
  26. The Organisers shall reserve the right at its absolute discretion to substitute any of the prizes with that of similar value at any time without prior notice. All prizes are non-transferable.
  27. The Organisers reserve the right at any time to add, alter, modify, change or vary the challenge procedures and terms and conditions of the Challenge, wholly or in part, at its absolute discretion without any notification to the Participants.
  28. By participating in this Challenge, the Participant, Representative and/or nominated person are deemed to have read, understood and agreed to be bound by the Challenge Procedures and Terms and Conditions and decisions made the Organisers.
  29. If there is any doubt over the interpretation of the terms and conditions, the decision of the Challenge Committee shall be final and conclusive.
  30. For enquiries, please call the SIR Registration Secretariat at 03 2724 8922 (Mon-Fri, 9am – 6pm).

Challenge Procedures and Rules & Regulation

A. Policy Statement

The RHB New Straits Times National Spell-It-Right Challenge is a spelling competition for students in primary and secondary schools.

The challenge seeks to discover individuals at primary and secondary school levels who possess an outstanding command of English vocabulary.

The RHB New Straits Times National Spell-It-Right Challenge also includes a qualifying round through the Online Preliminary Challenge taken via mobile app or web. The top 100 will then compete in the Online State Challenge. Fourteen (14) State champions will then compete in the National Challenge.

The reference texts for the National Challenge (NOTE: as this is still conducted in verbal form) shall be the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 9th Edition, Collins Cobuild Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary New Edition, Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary Third Edition, Merriam-Webster Online and Dictionary.com.


B. Word List

  1. The vast part of the word list can be found in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 9th Edition, Collins Cobuild Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary New Edition, Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary Third Edition and Merriam-Webster Online for both primary and secondary challenges.
  2. Some of the words may also be chosen from the New Straits Times publications. These may include technical terms and jargon that represent a particular industry or trade.
  3. In the challenge, no hyphenated words or phrases will be used. No prepositions or conjunctions will be used. The word list will consist of nouns, verbs, adjectival and adverbial forms only.
  4. Only British spellings will be accepted in all Challenges.
  5. The gradation of difficulty from the Online Preliminary to the Online State Challenges will vary.
  6. Any word that the Organisers deem will raise the bar for the Participants will be included. No requests to simplify or modify word lists will be entertained.
  7. The word list for the National Challenge, once compiled, will be handed over to the auditors and will only be released to Presenters on the day of the challenge.
  8. The word presentations will appear during the challenges in the following format:
    Word : nonsensical
    Definition : ideas, actions, or statements that are nonsensical are not reasonable or sensible.
    Sentence : This is a nonsensical argument.
    Spell: nonsensical
    Please note that for National Challenge, the origin of word will be provided.

C. Challenge Protocols
Challenge Administrators

  1. For Online Preliminary Challenge & Online State Challenge
    1. Participants are required to register at SIR mobile app or www.sir.nstp.com.my to compete in the Online Preliminary Challenge.
    2. Participants are advised to understand the rules and regulations and try the tutorial in order to familiarise themselves with the challenge.
    3. They are required to spell 15 words in the Online Preliminary Challenge.
    4. The participant will be given fifteen (15) seconds to spell the word and submit their spelling. Then, the next word will be given in the same manner. Selection of the fifteen (15) words is system generated.
    5. The word to be spelt will be given via audio, followed by its definition and then its usage in a sentence before the instruction to spell the word is given.
    6. If the word is not keyed in and submitted within 15 seconds, the next word to spell will automatically be presented.
    7. Participants are advised to take the Online Preliminary Challenge when they are READY and fully PREPARED to do so.
    8. Participants are advised to use headphones and take the Online Preliminary Challenge at a place where there is no disturbance.
    9. Participants are advised to make sure there is a reliable Internet connection before attempting the Online Preliminary Challenge.
    10. The top 100 spellers qualified to compete in the Online State Challenge will be identified by the Organisers after the Online Preliminary Challenge period ends. They will be notified via phone and email to participate in the Online State Challenge.
    11. In the Online State Challenge, a Participant is required to spell fifteen (15) words and the process flow is similar to the Online Preliminary Challenge. The same rules and regulation applied in Online Preliminary Challenge also applies in the Online State Challenge.
  2. For the National Challenge
    1. At any one time, the following people will be on the panel, i.e.: a Judge, the Presenter, the Timekeeper, the Scorekeeper and the Auditor.
    2. An additional two (2) administrators will manage the aisles and assist Participants to come forward for their turn to spell and return them to their seats, and escort Participants who are eliminated off the stage.
    3. The Presenter will be the final authority after consultation with the judge and auditor on the spelling submitted by a Participant.
    4. At the start of the challenge, the Presenter will lay down the rules for the audience and do a quick brief on how the challenge process will work.
    5. The Presenter will introduce the panel and other administrators.
    6. The challenge will begin when the auditor hands over the sealed word list to the Presenter.
    7. The Presenter will share the word list to be used with the judge and the auditor.
    8. The Presenter will first pronounce the word to be spelt, then define the word and then use it in a sentence. The Presenter then invites the Participant to spell the word.
    9. The Participant will then have twenty (20) seconds to spell the word. The buzzer will ring after twenty (20) seconds.
    10. The scorekeeper will note all the words a Participant spells correctly and allocate one (1) point for each correctly spelled word. At the end of the day, the scorekeeper will tally the points scored by each Participant.
  3. Participants
    1. For the Online Preliminary Challenge, all participants must register and complete the test at any time during the Online Preliminary Challenge period as stipulated by the Organisers.
    2. The top 100 participants selected to compete in the Online State Challenge must complete the spelling test at any time during the Online State Challenge period as stipulated by the Organisers.
    3. Spelling tests taken and submitted outside the Online Preliminary Challenge and Online State Challenge periods will not be accepted.
    4. Each state winner will compete with thirteen (13) other state winners in the respective categories at the National Challenge in Kuala Lumpur.
    5. There will be no staggering of times for the Participants. All Participants are expected to report by 9am for registration and to attend the briefing by the Presenter before the start of the National Challenge.
    6. All Participants MUST be in their full school uniforms during the National Challenge.
    7. All Participants and accompanying persons are required to stay until the end of the challenge duration in the event of a tie between Participants and to participate in the prize-giving ceremony.
    8. The Participants in the National Challenge will be required to spell five (5) words each based on the ‘round robin’ system to determine the five (5) best spellers. In the event of a tie, a tie-breaker round shall be held using the ‘sudden death’ system.
    9. The five (5) best spellers will enter the final round. Participants will be required to spell seven (7) words each based on the ‘round robin’ system to determine the five (5) best spellers.
    10. The five (5) clear winners shall be established at this point. In the event of a tie for any one of the top five (5) positions, a tie-breaker round shall be held using the ‘sudden death’ system.
    11. The Organiser reserves the right to change the challenge procedures, mechanics, rules & regulations at any time without prior notice.

C. Challenge Protocols
Challenge Administrators

  1. For Online Preliminary Challenge & Online State Challenge
    1. Participants are reminded to participate in the Online Preliminary Challenge & Online State Challenge with full integrity.
    2. Participants are allowed to participate in the Online Preliminary Challenge only ONCE.
    3. The challenge is deemed as completed when all the 15 words have been given out regardless of the number of words spelt and submitted by the Participant.
    4. Only those selected to compete in the Online State Challenge will be notified and allowed to compete the Online State Challenge.
    5. Selected participants are allowed to participate only ONCE in the Online State Challenge.
  2. For National Challenge
    1. National Challenge will begin on time. Punctuality is to be observed. There should be no disruptions when the challenge starts.
    2. Only selected participants are allowed to take part. There can be no walk in or substitution. All Participants must appear at the appointed time. No requests for rescheduling will be entertained.
    3. The challenge administrators will try to accommodate Participants who have special needs. All such requests should be made in writing to the challenge administrators well in advance of the challenge.
    4. Participants are required to face the Presenter and Judge when pronouncing and spelling the word.
    5. No aids will be allowed on stage or on Participants. For example, no pens, paper, MP3 players or mobile phones will be allowed on stage. A breach of this rule will be grounds for disqualification.
    6. No discussion or prompting between Participants or from anyone on stage. A breach of this rule will be grounds for disqualification.
    7. No prompting by the audience (in any form). If there are violations, the panel of judges has the right to withdraw the word or disqualify the Participant.
    8. The audience may not clap until after the Presenter declares the word CORRECT or INCORRECT.
    9. The allocated twenty (20) seconds for spelling will start after the Presenter says: Your time starts now.
    10. The Participant will first pronounce the word, then spell the word and then pronounce it again to indicate that he or she is submitting the word for judgment.
    11. The Participant can ask the Presenter to repeat the word BUT the timer will NOT be stopped to accommodate the request. He or she must complete spelling the word within the twenty (20) seconds allocated.
    12. If a Participant starts spelling a word and stops midway to try and spell it again, he or she must go back to the first letter of the word to spell again. The Participant cannot continue from the letter he or she left off.
    13. If the Participant exceeds the twenty (20) seconds timeframe given for spelling the word, points will NOT be awarded even if they are correct.
    14. Every word spelt correctly will be awarded one (1) point.
    15. In the event of disputes (for example, mispronunciation, ambiguity/uncertainty of word use, time or distractions), consultation will be made with the Members of the Organising Panel. Decision made by the Members of the Organising Panel will be final. The Organisers will have absolute discretion over the conduct of proceedings. No appeals and objections for any reason whatsoever will be entertained.
    16. Any complaint from the audience/teachers/parents/guardians on any matter pertaining to the proceedings must be presented in writing to the Organisers. The complainant must give his or her full name, address and contact details.
    17. Brief to teachers, parents and guardians:
      This Challenge is a SPELLING competition. Participants are judged on their spelling of a word. However, spelling is delivered through speech. You are encouraged to coach Participants to enunciate each letter clearly. Letters not clearly spoken even if the Participant knows the spelling WILL NOT be accepted and will form grounds for elimination.
      You are encouraged to conduct mock challenges in schools or at home so that Participants acquire a familiarity with the competition. Use your discretion to select words of varying difficulty and words that are interesting, complex in structure and in meaning, familiar and unfamiliar.
Copyright © 2017 - RHB NST National Spell-it-Right Challenge 2017.

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Call 03 2724 8922 or email SIR@g.nstp.com.my