Monday, September 27, 2010

Goodbye my friend...R.I.P Matt McKeown

I received a call from my friend, Azizi, at around 3.30pm today.

"You mean to say you dont know what happened to him?"

That's how I found out the news about the passing of our 'captain', Matt McKeown. He died of a heart attack at home, about an hour before that.

It was a huge shock to all of us in Astro Arena. Matt was not only Astro Arena General Manager, but he was our leader, the man that made all of this happen.

I still remember the first time Matt and I met. It was some time back in November last year. When he interviewed me for a position in Astro Arena. My first impression? Someone who clearly knew what he wants to achieve.

There were two meetings after that, occasions that I believe was used by him to size me up, to check whether I was suitable to be a member of his pioneer group to launch Astro Arena. On that third meeting, he told me straight that he's giving me the job.

"Any questions," he asked.

"Will you be a typical Malaysian boss," I replied.

"No. That's my guarantee..."

That's when its all started. Matt was true to his word, providing not only a stable leadership, but also a refreshing management style in steering Astro Arena during our formative months.

He hated it when, on many occasions, I called him 'Boss'. "Everytime you called me Boss, you owe my five ringgit," he said. I was lucky because few times that I absent-mindedly called him that, he was kind enough not to punish me for it.

But yes, he 'punished' few people who regularly called him that. Like our office manager, Yvonne, who was made to buy few cakes - to be shared with us - as a punishment.

He was accessible at any time of the day. There was several occasions, when I was disturbed by certain happenings in the office, when I sms-ed or emailed him, and I will get prompt answers from him.

We will miss him, that's for sure. We will miss his leadership, his kindness and his devotion to Astro Arena. He was a great man. And a good friend.

Rest in peace, my friend...


Hakim Amir said...

still hard to comprehend the news..he will be missed surely. nice tribute, Khawari. RIP Matt McKeown

rizal hashim said...

I don't know why I could not sleep last night...conversations with Matt kept running through my mind...

Anonymous said...

am so sad to bro. he really motivated me to be a good presenter. I still remember our `interview` session at Ali Bawal Cafe with him. RIP

Chris said...

Matt was someone really special. I have worked in many start-up channels around the world but I have never before had the privilege of working for someone with so much energy and drive, coupled with boundless good nature, humanity and enthusiasm and, as you pointed out in your post, humility too.

Matt really knew his stuff. He was (and is still in my memories) a truly exceptional person. I shall miss him.

Andrew said...


When I arrived at Arena in late May he struck me as a man going places, full of drive and commitment to make a difference to TV sport in Malaysia, he made me feel very welcome at Arena.
I pleased and proud to have known him for my short time here.

I know I will be the poorer for his passing.

Anonymous said...

Well said Mr Khawari.