When Peter acquired this cafe, it was in a wretched condition- one could imagine that it was beyond restoration. To make matters worse, strewn along the street in which the cafe was located were dim, flickering night lights, funeral parlours, casket shops, and dilapidated shophouses that have closed for good a long time ago. The street atmosphere was eerie. However, the street carried great historical significance in Malaysia. The idea of starting a cafe on that street was, quite frankly, absurd. His friends and colleagues certainly thought so. But to Peter, it was an opportunity and a personal mission for him to at least attempt to restore the former glory of his hometown.
And true to absurdity, 15 years later, Peter had done the impossible. Today, the cafe is thriving and has become the talk of the town. Because of Peter’s vision, undying passion, and humble persistence, the cafe is now a world heritage site that has transformed the entire street into a tourist and heritage mecca. Tourists and locals both patronize the cafe regularly.
But its success did not come easy. The cafe struggled to stay afloat in the first few years operation. There were days where the cafe’s earnings were less than RM 70 a day. The surly atmosphere of the street didn’t help matters. Only when there was a wake in one of the funeral parlours would there be life on the street. But none of those challenges deterred Peter. Of course, there were days where he felt discouraged, but he never gave up. He was also a man of many ideas, always humbly working with others to render hope of restoring the cafe and the rich history that belies the street. Even in the face of discouragement from others, Peter never flailed. He smiled and carried on. As his friend, I always wanted to comfort and consoled him. But I realized that his quiet determination was solid as a rock. And to this day, I will forever be thankful to this man for revitalizing my hometown. He has been… and is …the best of me. Thank you Peter.