Merdeka with Adam Mathews

Malaysians come in all shapes and forms, not from some mould. We’re like a rainbow. We look different, sound different and do different things. Keeps it interesting, doesn’t it? That’s diversity, people. And it beats homogenity hands down. So in conjunction with this Merdeka week, JUICE decided to speak to a few people about Malaysia’s independence day and what being a Malaysian means, because we know it’s different for everybody. We start with Adam Mathews, the Head of Marketing and Communications of Malaysia’s superclub Zouk. The guy responsible for seeing to it that only the freshest mst cutting edge sounds meet our ears when we’re ut on the raz, he reveals some unlikely heroes and a penchant for loud shirts. Wooha!

What does it mean to be Malaysian?
More than ever it means everything actually. I lived abroad for almost 15 years and when I suddenly had to return home I was scared and apprehensive. However I have never had to look back at that decision with regret.

Where did you grow up and what is your fondest childhood memory of Malaysia?
I am a PJ boy but my parents are Taiping people. Holidays were always up north. One of my fondest memories was swimming and larking about with my cousins in the ice cold streams up on Maxwell Hill (Bukit Larut).

What will you be doing when the clock strikes 12 midnight on 31 August this year?
Very likely standing up on the roof of Zouk KL with my girlfriend looking out for the fireworks.

What’s your definition of independence?
Freedom from oppression and tyranny. Do we have it? For most part we do.

Who’s your Malaysian hero?
When I was growing up … it was Mokhtar Dahari. Today I suppose one of my Malaysian heroes is Xu from Lapsap & TAG. He is an unbelievably funny, colourful, quirky and creative individual with an amazing zest for life. And a representation of the kind of attitude I would hope Malaysian’s will adopt in time to come.

What is your favorite Malaysian song right now?
‘Bitter Heart’ by Zee Avi. That’s a homegirl doing us proud aiight?

Who is your favourite Malaysian band/artist?
I don’t listen to Malaysian music quite enough to say something is my favourite. I’m liking how Arabyrd is improving. Am also digging what Goldfish is laying down too.

Where is your favourite Malaysian getaway?
Without a shadow of a doubt its Langkawi. I fell in love with the place two years ago. Heaven is chilling by the pool at Bon Ton watching the sunset.

The worst and best Malaysian traits are …
Worst: Malaysian’s turn into animals during the sales.
Best: We plan our days not by where need to be or have to do but what we will eat next!!

If you were Prime Minister for the day you would…
Declare that every Monday should be “Hawaiian Shirt Day”. Can you imagine how colourful and fun Mondays would be? At the very least it would kill the post-weekend blues!

If you could leave Malaysian’s with one thought to ponder this Merdeka what would it be?
Its taken us 52 years to get to where we are now – where finally voices are starting to question the status quo. Do we need another 52 to make things change for the better? Or should there be some real changes sooner. Instead I hope the next 52 weeks (1 year) will tell. Positive action folks!

You can find Adam Mathews at Malaysia’s superclub Zouk on Jalan Ampang. Check out to find out what’s happening over there. Do check out what Azmyl Yunor has to say too.