In this digital age, the journey to success seems to be shorter, quicker and a lot more accessible compared to before. In spite of the advantage, it’s not entirely a toll-free expressway. For our 2016 Men of the Year lineup, August Man Malaysia has sought out individuals who are embracing this change and have at the same time paid their dues with real substance, staying power and a solid, physical grip on their individual crafts. When it comes down to it, nothing beats the human touch.

Photographer: Kim Mun, Hopscotch Studio / creative director: Ibnu Aswan / art director and stylist: Shi Yee, assited by Bryan Kong / makeup: Joey Yap / hair: Kay Tuan, Centro Hair Salon / outfits: Emporio Armani / watches: Bell & Ross / words: Rubin Khoo, KC Yap and Zech Pharamond

In association with Bell & Ross, Emporio Armani, Hennessy X.O, Mercedes-Benz, Resorts World Sentosa Singapore and DCODE.

Jacket, shirt and pants by Emporio Armani; BR 03-92 AeroGT 42mm in steel with black calfskin strap stitched with red piping by Bell & Ross; C-Class Coupe by Mercedes-Benz
Jacket, shirt and pants by Emporio Armani; BR 03-92 AeroGT 42mm in steel with black calfskin strap stitched with red piping by Bell & Ross; C-Class Coupe by Mercedes-Benz



Sports host, radio personality and genius goalkeeper, you can ask anyone who’s ever met the guy and they’ll tell you how well mannered he is. But he’s not one to mince opinions or pander to popularity contests, especially when it comes to football and his beloved Tottenham Hotspurs. And that’s why we like him. If anything, our Men of The Year awards celebrates personal achievements just as much as professional ones. Adam C is our idea of a sporting gentleman. And that’s why he’s up there with the best of ‘em this year.

Looking back at a successful year or career, how do you feel about the journey thus far?

Share with us some highlights. I’ve been at this for over a decade now and honestly, there are too many highlights to list out! One recent highlight would be a video message, recorded by a colleague, of my idol (John Dykes) saying that he has heard about the work I’ve been doing and that thus far, luckily, I’ve been doing all right.

What are the key ingredients that have got you to where you are today?

There are two main ingredients. For all that I do, I have an avid interest in what I’m talking about, which is the first ingredient, and the second is preparation. Those two ingredients allow anybody to do what I’m doing. Follow your interest and always, always be prepared.

What inspires you and your work?

I look at what others in the field are doing. From listening to radio stations overseas and watching match coverage, I see what they do and think how we can do it better. I honestly believe, that in many, many ways we are better than content from overseas, in how we present it and deliver it. I want our work with the radio station and sports channel to be recognised on a global scale. Also, and more importantly, to just have people say that they enjoy the coverage/radio broadcast that we provide is the ultimate inspiration, as you always want to push it more and more to be the best that we can be.

What do you find most meaningful and fulfilling about your current role?

It’s not just about me but the teams I work with. When we interview an artist and he compliments the interview or when I see a piece on our football coverage/footballer interview go viral, it
feels very fulfilling. There was one recent piece whereby we filmed the reaction of our pundit, off camera, to a goal at UEFA Euro 2016, uploaded it and it went viral everywhere. As part of my prep, I listen to podcasts from overseas and even they were talking about it. That’s very fulfilling!

Digital and mobile technology has ushered in sweeping changes to the way we live. How is it complementing what you do?

For 2017, I’m even thinking of creating some content, just by myself, in another field (video games) and just using online tools for it. I’m just hoping I have the time! All in all, having been in the industry before all of this, it’s more exciting than ever. I’m an avid tech enthusiast so it’s exciting to see what’s next.

Jacket and pants by Emporio Armani; BR 03-97 Reserve de Marche 42mm in steel with calfskin strap by Bell & Ross



While he is a practitioner of many trades, Aiman Asmawar is no mere Jack. The director of OX Group Asia, a company that invests in and builds content for film, fine art, event, food and beverage, etc, Aiman has to date demonstrated a multifaceted passion and artistry that ranges from the performing arts to martial applications. While he first broke into the scene as a VJ for MTV VJ, his more recent success includes a role in the acclaimed Dato’ Seri, a Malaysian adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and starring as breakdancer and playing one of the leads in this year’s Showdown The Movie. At the same time, the Limkokwing graduate is also a true-blue martial artist and teacher of the Silat Gayong discipline, carrying a centuries-old tradition
in modern times. His interest in the arts spans the stage and screen. While honing his acting skills to perfection, he also runs two art galleries during the day, namely Galeri Seni Enam Sembilan and Gallery Fine Art 69, and is looking forward to taking on a rather ambitious New Year.

Looking back at a successful year or career, how do you feel about the journey thus far?

This year’s journey has definitely built itself up for myself, talent/career-wise, in theatre acting, martial arts, as well as my company OX Group Asia. As a company just a year old, we are astonished by the projects we’ve set up which includes television productions, a restaurant and a fine art exhibition. As for my martial arts career, being recognised for Silat, for peacefully practising and preserving the tradition, and giving back to society, especially the Orang Asli, has moved me emotionally. For me, versatility in talent has become habitual and a practice to invest further in the near future.

What is your approach to your trade and to life in general, and what do you reckon have been the key ingredients that got you to where you are today?

Live each day like it’s your last, hence each day would be very fulfilling. A few ingredients that got me where I am today would definitely have to be clear intention, focus and compassion.

What inspires you and your work?

The love I have for our people and culture has definitely inspired me to invest, nurture and preserve our heritage.

What do you find most meaningful and fulfilling about your current role?

Being able to have the honour and responsibility to lead a team of highly talented people who trust you with your visions and to influence an audience with my passion for the arts.

What is your outlook for 2017?

2017 is looking highly ambitious for myself and my team. We aim to achieve and showcase a fine art installation tour to four different countries and five exhibitions, covering Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Bali, Singapore and Penang. Our mission is to capture and exhibit people’s souls through photography in front of a live audience. We also are hoping to showcase a music festival to create awareness and help our Malaysian elephants. My New Year resolution is to go global.

Coat, shirt and pants by Emporio Armani; BR 01 Burning Skull 46mm in engraved, microblasted steel, hand-filled with black lacquer, with brown alligator strap by Bell & Ross



Back in 2010, we featured Altimet as one of the individuals who were shaping Malaysia in our August issue. To date, he remains to be amongst the driving force behind the Malaysian hip-hop scene, a career as well as personal mission that found its beginnings at the turn of the millennium, in the AIM-nominated quartet Teh Tarik Crew. Altimet has since then gone on to become one of the country’s most prolific and multi-faceted artists, wearing the hats of a singer, rapper, songwriter, producer and live performer, with numerous no.1 hits and awards such as VIMA’s Best Hip-Hop Solo Act and Song of the Year under his belt. Today, August Man Malaysia recognises Altimet’s contribution and talent in conjunction with the release of his third album Amboi. With regard to his music, the Man of the Year reveals that he has been inspired by the people of Malaysia to tell their stories, and his.

Looking back at a successful year and career, how do you feel about the journey thus far?

I feel blessed and humbled. The highlight of this year would definitely be going for SXSW in Austin, Texas. I met a few of my heroes who shaped my views on the industry. The epiphany was a repeated lesson; be bold and fearless when you make a move and have faith, it’ll work out in the end.

What is your approach to your trade and to life in general, and what do you reckon have been the key ingredients that got you to where you are today?

My approach has always been to do things or songs that other rappers have not done. This allows me more space to be creative. It sets my brand apart from my contemporaries. I listen to my heart and execute with my head. I have to credit Mizz Nina for teaching me that. And I’m not scared of failing, I got that lesson from my father.

What inspires you and your work?

Hip-hop is folk music, so the people of Malaysia inspire me. I tell their stories, and mine. ‘Rap untuk rakyat’, thats the philosophy.

What do you find most meaningful and fulfilling about your current role?

When someone stops me and tells me how much a song of mine reflects a part of his life, or how it makes him feel. And, usually, when a pakcik/makcik tells me, “I don’t listen to rap, but I listen to your songs and I like them.” That’s priceless.

The digital and mobile technology has ushered in a sweeping change to the way we live, creating new avenues and conversations like never before. How do you feel about that?

I think it’s great. The music industry was one of the first to encounter these changes, so its players are doing their best to adapt. There is no roadmap, we’ll have to make it up as we go along. I think the future shall be a subscription-based model of consumption, which suits someone like me.

What is your outlook for 2017?

I’m going to focus on the album that just came out, Amboi. And I think I’ll continue stepping out of my comfort zone like I have been doing in 2016. It’s working out well so far, why fix it if it’s not broken?

Coat, sweat, pants and glasses by Emporio Armani; BR 03-92 Steel & Rose Gold 42mm in steel and 18k rose gold polished and satin-finished bezel and crown, with gold calfskin strap with a hot stamped finish by Bell & Ross



Since the advent of iPhoneography, the artistic integrity of photography has largely been compromised. Today, we are proud to present Eiffel Chong, a photographer in the truest sense of the term. Eiffel has exhibited extensively across the region. Among his fondest showcases were the Others and Me: A Contemporary Photography Exhibition in Sharjah Art Museum, UAE and After Image: Contemporary Photography From Southeast Asia in the Singapore Art Museum. A finalist in the Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2014 in Hong Kong, Eiffel did us proud last year by winning second place at the Nikon Photo Contest in Japan and earning a finalist spot at the coveted Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive in Melbourne. On top of that, he has been nominated for the Prix Pictet for the third consecutive year, despite not being shortlisted every time. Held in high regard by the art community, Eiffel is often sought after for his expansive knowledge and personal insights. His mentoring and judging stints to date include the Goethe-Institut Malaysia/Nikon Shooting Stars programme and the Photography Society of Petaling Jaya.

Central to his work are often existential narratives derived from his observation of everyday life concerning humanity, progress and the reality of things, told through landscapes, interiors, infrastructures and objects. This month, China will see Eiffel make his mainland debut at the Xishuangbanna Foto Festival, with his work Seascape. Following that, he will be showcasing at the Singapore Contemporary 2017 in January.

What inspires you and your work?

My work is very much influenced by European photography. One of the schools that really inspire me is the Dusseldorf School of Photography founded by husband and wife Bernd and Hilla Becher. They introduced the concept of topographic photography and have influenced world-famous photographers. Besides them, I am inspired by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. I just love his writing about ‘nothing’ and the idea of something strange/alien occurring in a familiar setting.

What do you find most meaningful and fulfilling about your current role?

I have been teaching photography for the longest time. I feel proud when my students achieve something in their careers; some of them are working in international advertising agencies, while some are designing and creating products for the biggest brands in the world.

The digital and mobile technology has ushered in a sweeping change to the way we live. How is it complementing what you do?

There are more photography festivals held in cities around the world today compared to 10 years ago. With the help of social media, my work has reached a wider audience and taken me places. I was in Noorderlicht in The Netherlands last year and Obscura in Penang last August. On the flip side, everyone is a photographer these days, but most do not understand that there are more to photography than snapping a picture with their mobile phones. I hope more Malaysians would take photography seriously.

Coat, shirt and pants by Emporio Armani; BR 126 Aéronavale 43mm in steel with alligator strap by Bell & Ross; C-Class Coupe by Mercedes-Benz



In an interview with The Sun Daily, Joshua Fitton revealed, “I was learning how to make things. While making two suits for the first collection, I was impressed with the work that went into them. The obsession of needing to know how things are put together got me learning about suits more.” This passion, coupled with a keen sense of style, has in a short couple of years blossomed into the fashion powerhouse that discerning gentlemen go to known as Atelier Fitton, following Joshua’s resignation from his desk job as an architect. Under his creative direction, the menswear brand offers bespoke suits rooted in English tailoring, with emphasis on effortless, timeless elegance and a high attention to detail, from the cut and fit to the selection of natural materials and the practice of responsible production. His latest collection featuring an urban-safari theme was showcased at the recent KL Fashion Week.

Looking back at a successful year, how do you feel about the journey thus far? The highlight would have to be closing the fashion week. It all came together perfectly after a few months of hard work. Another mention would have to be our video release, viewable on our website It was shot with the biggest crew I’ve worked with so far, 15 people compared to last year’s three.

What is your approach to your trade and to life in general?

I approach anything I do with passion and rigour. There is no point doing something halfheartedly, you’re never going to get anywhere. There are ups and downs in this industry; in any industry actually, you just have to believe in yourself and power through it.

What inspires you and your work?

Personal experiences and journeys are a focal point but there are other small shines that spark interests, memories, ideas. Something small may spark an idea, but it’s the exploration that makes it something tangible, and the countless hours you put in make it something!

What do you find most meaningful and fulfilling about your current role?

It means a lot to me when I see people wearing something I made or designed, something I put a lot of effort into. I also appreciate it greatly now for being recognised for my work and what I do and being invited to universities to give talks. All this reassures me that it pays off.

The digital and mobile technology has ushered in a sweeping change to the way we live. How does it complement what you do?

It is so important to me in that I wouldn’t be in fashion if it weren’t for the digitalisation of information, I am trained as an architect and everything I’ve learnt about fashion has all been self-taught through reading a bunch of online books and watching every possible YouTube video on fashion design and production.

What is your outlook for 2017?

2017 is going to be the year we start producing ready-to-wear. We are starting with online retailers first and then hopefully to brick-and-mortar shops and maybe overseas, there is a lot to work on so let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope we can accomplish all that.

Bomber jacket and pants by Emporio Armani; BR 03-93 GMT 42mm in steel, with black calfskin strap with a hot stamped finish by Bell & Ross



There are two reasons why we don’t reach out to the homeless. Either we care, just not enough to make a difference, or we are just indifferent. I’m going to hope it’s option one for the majority of us. So what would happen if you actually decided to extend more than spare change? Lex Low says the experience will affect a bigger change in your life, than it will in theirs. As a barber who gives free haircuts to the homeless, he’s had the chance to listen to their stories and help some of them get on their feet again. More than a free snip, Lex helps them regain some semblance of pride with his grooming skills. Here’s his take on street activism.

Looking back at a successful year or career, any important epiphanies?

It is in fact the past three years. It’s been a totally different path from where I began as a hairdresser. I guess sometimes a major life setback forces you to find your true self. What started as a simple desire to make a small difference through a pair of scissors has today become a calling.

What is your philosophy towards your trade and life in general?

I live my life by three simple rules. Number one, love God. Two, love myself. And three, love others. I always believe in staying true to yourself and that’s the most important value I set in my company. Pleasing people is convenient, pleasing God is a conviction. I’m learning every day to live by my conviction.

What inspires you and your work?

I’m always inspired by the ordinary people I meet. Often we want to be inspired by someone famous but the truth is everyone has their challenges and victories. Cutting hair for people somewhat made me a good listener. And I love the stories of my clients, the homeless and my students.

What do you find most meaningful and fulfilling about your current role?

In my barbershop, I get to lead a team and they’re like my family. They’re the reason my barbershop is successful today. In my hairdressing school, I get to impart a skill to the poor and underprivileged. In serving the homeless, I get to transform their lives one haircut at a time.

Digital and mobile technology has ushered in sweeping changes to the way we live. How do you feel about that?

Our barbershop business relies a lot on social media marketing. It’s probably one of our most important marketing tools. But no matter how advanced technology gets, nothing can replace the human touch. That’s why at our barbershop, we constantly make sure customer service is at its best.

What do you find most challenging in what you do and how do you rise to the occasion?

Juggling between managing my barbershop, teaching in Dignity For Children Foundation, engaging the homeless community and at the same time managing a few social projects. This by far is the most exciting time of my life. Every time I’m exhausted, I will remind myself the reason why I do what I do. I’ll then come back to the three pillars: love God, love myself, love others.

Sweater and pants by Emporio Armani; BR 03-92 Desert Type 42mm in matte black ceramic, with beige calfskin strap by Bell & Ross



Rahul Kukreja is director of Live Events of The Livescape Group. These guys have organised electronic dance music (EDM) parties, rock concerts, indie gigs… basically every significant live show in KL. Not a momentous bombshell on its own, but then you have to bear in mind, Malaysia claims to be a forward-thinking country of moderates. Entire festivals costing millions to organise have been cancelled because of intolerant picketing. And with the guardians of morality ever ready to flex their code books, surely you can appreciate why his job is particularly contentious. But Rahul continues to soldier on, and Malaysians are all the better for it. By continually bringing in international acts, he puts us on the map. By introducing new acts, he’s showing us the potential that’s out there. By refusing to back down and close shop, he’s proving that Malaysia is still the plurality we grew up learning about. And that’s why he’s our Man of the Year.

Looking back at a successful year or career, how do you feel about the journey thus far?

The highlight of the year has got to be the recent Rockaway Festival, probably because it’s still fresh in my mind. It took us some time to get that lineup together, especially Butterfingers whom I initiated talks with close to two years ago. To see everything come intro fruition has been amazing. I guess that’s what the last seven years at Livescape has felt like. As a team, we have brought our ideas to life, produced the largest music event in South East Asia as well as the largest party on a cruise ship in the world! Last month alone was packed with three festivals. I’m just looking forward to sneaking in some beach time should a window of opportunity present itself.

What is your approach to your trade and to life in general, and what do you reckon have been the key ingredients that got you to where you are today?

We’ve always wanted to create new experiences and platforms for our guests. We want them leaving our event thinking, “Oh man, I can’t wait for the next It’s The Ship or Rockaway.” That and a combination of consumers believing in your brand – where they don’t wait for artists at a festival to be announced before buying tickets; they know that if it’s a Livescape event, it’s good. Ticket sales are very hard to gauge here in Malaysia. Sometimes a response or buzz for a show can be so good but the moment it goes on sale, tickets go flat. We want consumers to trust our platforms enough – similar to what Glastonbury or Coachella has built over the years. My approach to life is “Go for gold.” We are in the business of taking risks and we gamble pretty much all the time, but my partners and I have become a little better at taking more “calculated risks” over the years. In a way I’ve also been lucky. I’ve experienced all aspects of this industry – the reason I got into producing festivals/live events was only when my band, One Buck Short, started becoming successful and touring with some of the bigger western acts when they came to South East Asia. From there, I started meeting and working with some of the biggest promoters in Asia.

What inspires you and your work?

I truly love music, it amazes me how much an impact a particular concert or festival experience can have on an individual. I love going to music festivals and have had the opportunity to check out some of the biggest music events in the world, which inspired me to come back and do this here in Asia. I want to create the same experience I’ve felt to as many people as possible.

The digital and mobile technology have ushered in a sweeping change to the way we live. How is it complementing what you do?

We were the first to implement the RFID and cashless systems at a music festival a couple years ago and since then many promoters in the region have followed suit. The social media game as well has affected the way we present our platforms to the world. With Facebook Live and Insta Stories, we’ve managed to greatly quantify our sponsors/partners and artist experiences at our events. We’re always looking for new ideas and at how we can elevate our brand and consumer experience.

What is your outlook for 2017?

For the new year, I really want to get back into the “healthy living” vibe. I fell off the wagon when things got crazy the last few months but I really want to get back into it. I’m hoping my close friend and fellow champion Didi Ramlan (who also happens to be Yuna’s tour manager) helps me out with this. In terms of work, I’m hoping to work with some of the bigger pop artists and larger show productions as well as finally announce a new festival with Livescape that has been in the pipeline for quite some time now.

Jacket, Tshirt, glasses and pants by Emporio Armani; BR 01 Instrument de Marine 46mm in precious wood, titanium and bronze, with alligator strap by Bell & Ross



Winner of Best Director at the 2016 Malaysia Film Festival (FFM), Shanjhey Kumar Perumal gave us more than just a feature film when Jagat was released late last year; he delivered what has gone down in FFM history as Best Film—the first of its kind in the category, a gripping cinematic insight into the plight of a marginalised community, and a success that raises the curtain on a personal filmmaking journey of 10 years. Set in the early 1990s, Jagat underlines the Indian Malaysian community during the trying times of post-estate life that saw many out of work, live in squatters and resort to gang life. Caught amidst the shambles is a spirited boy, Appoy, seduced by what seemed like a promising future in the form of a criminal lifestyle. Shanjhey likens his career and struggle to Appoy, as a Malaysian filmmaker faced with the hardship of fitting in and making a film that doesn’t resonate with the mainstream taste and discipline. Despite financial setbacks and difficulty in finding a release channel at first, Jagat was launched to critical acclaim and has subsequently become the first local Tamil production to enjoy eight weeks of unbroken screening. While Shanjhey began his filmmaking journey with shorts, his most prominent being Thaipoosam and the 2006 BMW Shorties Malaysia grand prize entry Machai, the filmmaker has now come into his own and is set to tell more stories through the narrative art of cinema.

Looking back at a successful year or career, how do you feel about the journey thus far?

I feel that the 10-year wait has been worth it. Deep inside, I just wanted to share the story honestly. Now after gaining some recognition, I feel numb and neutral, as my journey is just about to begin. The journey matters more than the destination. When we think of a destination, it comes with expectation, and with expectation, there will be disappointment. The result should be a natural unfolding of your creation.

What inspires you and your work?

Responsibility, like the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Art is a huge, powerful thing. It can inspire ideologies, unite people and give hope. I believe that while an idea may come from one source, it doesn’t stop at a single person. It transcends borders and generations. I feel like I’m a torchbearer, passing the torch from the older generation to the next.

What do you find most meaningful and fulfilling about your current role?

Recently some officials and policymakers contacted me and requested to watch Jagat to understand the plight of Indian Malaysians. If
the movie had indeed contributed something to the marginalized community in any small way, I would be very happy.

The digital and mobile technology has ushered in a sweeping change to the way we live. How does it complement what you do?

As a filmmaker, I would like to screen my films on bigger screens. Making films for smaller screens requires a different approach, but I’m ready to make that change. The thing that I like about digital is that it’s not subjected to racial, language, market and mainstream barriers.

Jacket, sweater, pants and boots by Emporio Armani; BR 03-94 Desert Type 42mm in matte black ceramic, with beige calfskin strap by Bell & Ross



It isn’t an exaggeration to say that chef Sherson Lian has dominated the airwaves. He has starred in several Asian Food Channel programmes including The Amazing Food Challenge: Fun in The Philippines as well Family Kitchen in which he cooks in the comfort of his own kitchen alongside his mother. In fact, Sherson who has received no formal education in culinary, attributes
his career to his mother’s influence. She ran a restaurant and it was from there that Sherson developed his interest in the culinary world. “Cooking is about inspiration, taste and flavours,” he says in an interview with The Star. “A lot of influence came from my mother who gave me the foundation.”

While still at school, Sherson helped in his mother’s restaurant and it was there he developed a fondness for what he describes as “the atmosphere and team spirit” of the kitchen brigade. It was that love for working with people that prompted him to explore the food business. “I liked that energy and the teamwork they had in the restaurant. Even though they were very busy, they were very happy,” he says in The Star. Opting to forge his own path, Sherson worked for JW Marriot KL as a trainee in various kitchens and then became the manager and owner of Paradise Café, where he attempted for the first time to run his own F&B outlet. After three years of successful patronage and growth, Sherson sold off the restaurant and moved to Malacca in search of new experiences and challenges.

Those new experiences include his foray into television which began with the show 5 Rencah 5 Rasa. That then led to him fronting numerous other programmes including Great Dinners of the World, which he hosted alongside three other chefs, including Johnny Fua. “It was nerve-racking at first but I realise that what matters is personality and cooking. I don’t have to pretend but be myself,” he says, about the first couple of times he appeared on air. He has since formed a steady friendship with Fua who has partnered him on several ventures, the latest being the trendy Hello by Kitchen Mafia, which has been attracting steady crowds since it opened. Other than these projects, Sherson also contributes to the community, working as a team-building consultant for the Centre for Customer Care Malaysia (CCC) and leadership training camps for foundation students at Help College. Sherson’s approach to cooking is guided by pretty simple philosophy—“Everyone can cook!”

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