Some from Muntri Street in Penang made it big and famous, others toiled to survive

Some from Muntri Street in Penang made it big and famous, others toiled to survive
The Hong Kong Shoe Store at 177, Muntri Street.

There is still no street named in honour of one of Malaysia's global brands, Datuk Jimmy Choo, but there is a road in Penang that bears special significance to this international icon - Muntri Street.

The only catch is that Penang has got it wrong.

Well-intentioned bloggers and writers have credited a little shop at the corner of Muntri Street and Leith Street as the place where Choo started out as an apprentice.

In fact, a steel-rod sculpture has been erected to mark Choo's supposedly humble beginnings. The sculpture is based on the caricature of local cartoonist Baba Chuah.

In an interview with Choo, he told this writer that he did not begin his career at 177, Muntri Street which is the address of the Hong Kong Shoe Store.

"The confusion may have started when I spoke at a dinner and made references to many local shoemakers as my sifu or teachers.

"If you are familiar with the Cantonese dialect, we often show our respect and admiration for these older master shoemakers with such salutations," he said.

Choo revealed that it was his Hakka father who taught him the trade.

But Choo spent much of his childhood days in that area comprising Muntri Street, Love Lane, Penang Road and Hutton Lane.

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