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Giving voice to Singaporeans living in Cambodia

Marie Lamy / Khmer Times Share:

In honour of the 55th Anniversary of the Singapore National Day and the establi-shment of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Cambodia, Khmer Times met with Singaporean ex-pats, who have chosen Cambodia, giving them a chance to voice out their impressions of the Kingdom.

Despite 22 years of experience in the healthcare sector, this is Serene Yap Yen Yen’s first time working overseas.

Serene Yap Yen Yen has had 22 years of healthcare experience in Singapore before she relocated to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. KT/ Sony Tep

Currently, she works as the director nurse at the Prestige Hospital. For Serene, choosing Cambodia as her new home allowed her to experience a new culture as well as contribute to the country’s healthcare, a sector which she says is close to her heart.

“Interacting with people from different countries will open your eyes to all sorts of aspects that would be difficult to learn in your native country,” she said. When Serene is not on duty, she enjoys strolls on the riverside, admiring the Tonle Sap Lake which she said reminds her of her childhood.

Dr. Christopher Tay, CEO of the Prestige Hospital. KT/ Sony Tep

Dr Christopher Tay went back and forth between Singapore and Cambodia before settling in the Kingdom in January of this year.

Dedicating over 30 years of his time and effort in Asia’s healthcare sector, the former doctor eventually decided to be part of the recently opened Prestige Hospital as the Chief Executive Officer. The hospital, he said, seeks to adapt the Singaporean health standard in Cambodia.

Asked about his insights on Cambodia, Dr Tay says: “There is a huge potential with the next generation of practitioners.” Despite daily challenges, he said the discipline and hard work of the locals have so far impressed him. He said the ease by which he adjusted easily to Cambodia came as a pleasant surprise as the Kingdom offers a lot of opportunities for venturing out and discovering new places outside the city. Looking forward to sharing his knowledge with the younger generation, Dr Tay says, “Cambodia is a place to me where you can optimise your knowledge because people are eager to learn and cooperate thus providing you with good teachers.”

Jaclyn Chua travelled back and forth between Singapore and Cambodia before settling in Phnom Penh as the representative of Meridian International Holdings’ board of directors. KT/ Sony Tep

Jaclyn Chua, representative of the board of directors at Meridian International Holding, says she had some appre-hensions before moving to Cambodia. However, those thoughts quickly dissolved upon meeting the locals and being introduced to the Khmer culture.

While many can get stuck in the ex-pat comfort zone, she says “such will only leave one deprived of the most exciting experiences that one could get from living in another country. You can live freely; the weather is agreeable for me who does not like cold temperatures.

This country gives me a sense of mystery that I should keep exploring. The beaches show that there is nothing to envy from Fiji or the Maldives and temples with thousands of years of history are truly a wonder of this world”. Furthermore, she admits her best memory of this country will be the people, whose friend-liness, open heart and diligence are overflowing.

Javis Ang, CEO of Zenearth and co-founder of Ho Kee Bak Kut Teh Restaurant in Phnom Penh. KT/ Sony Tep

Javis Ang, the CEO and co-founder of Zenearth, has been living in Cambodia for over five years. He said what drove him to Cambodia were the great business and investment opportunities, which differ from his home country. During his stay in Phnom Penh, the also co-owner of Ho Kee Bak Hut Teh Restaurant, admits the standard of living in the country has improved in recent years.

“A wide range of interna-tional cuisine is accessible for any pocket. The mode of transportation is fairly affordable and business-wise, there are a lot of opportunities to grab,” he said, adding life is pleasant for ex-pats and locals with the new technological innovations.

When Javis is not working, he says he enjoys visiting Siem Reap province for its for spectacular temples, rustic cafes and bustling nightlife.

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