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Singaporeans making a difference

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Bee Sun (in the middle) with colleagues from Singapore Cambodia International Academy

Stella Toh – intrepid entrepreneur

Currently Founder and CEO of Style Design Cambodia, a renowned interior design and architectural company, Stella Toh is also the co-founder of the Royal Chartered Institute and Banana Leaf Cambodia. She has established her credentials as a unique interior designer with an environmentally friendly focus in China, Vietnam, Singapore and Myanmar.

Having been in Cambodia for nearly 21 years, Stella is also Chairperson of the Street Art Fest++ Organising Committee, a commemorative event to celebrate the 55th anniversary of bilateral relations between Singapore and Cambodia.

Stella has contributed to numerous charitable causes, including the adoption of homeless children, fundraising of food and supplies for Project Smile, Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital and needy families.

In 2019, Stella and her sister founded a local NGO, Invest in Her Potential (IIHP) to train underprivileged girls to become professional skincare therapists and develop business and management skills with support from their company Dermalogica Cambodia, a skincare brand from the US.

Cambodia has been my home for more than two decades. I’ve watched Phnom Penh grow and develop into the bustling metropolis and melting pot of cultures that we see today.

Yet, the people and friends have remained warm and welcoming. Although the corporate landscape remains challenging, it has been a fulfilling journey of opportunities and adventure.

In 2018, I co-founded an educational institution called Royal Chartered Institute (RCI), approved by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, to offer construction and real estate programmes for the construction and development industry in Cambodia.

In 2019, my business partner from China and I decided to bring a branded Asian fusion restaurant to Cambodia called Banana Leaf.

I want to leave a legacy by mentoring creative young Cambodians, and to pass on skills and experiences. I want to build meaningful partnerships, grow networks, while sharing resources and support to help open doors for Singaporeans in Cambodia. The future is bright, and we can achieve so much more together!

Bee Sun (in the middle) with colleagues from Singapore Cambodia International Academy

Ng Bee Sun – pioneering educator

Currently the Principal for the SCIA Foundation Studies Centre at the Singapore Cambodia International Academy (SCIA), Bee Sun is also the appointed Warden for Phnom Penh City Centre in the Embassy’s Warden Contact Network for Singaporeans in Cambodia.

Beyond being an exemplary warden, she has been an active member of the Singaporean community and in the Education Working Committee of the International Business Chambers of Cambodia.

She played a pivotal role in supporting the Embassy’s CSR project for the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) during the Street Art Fest++ in February 2020. She also worked closely with the Embassy to facilitate the smooth running of COVID-19 related events such as the townhall briefings for Singaporeans conducted by Ambassador Michael Tan in March and the joint repatriation flight for Singaporeans and Australians in April.

I came to Cambodia in mid-2017 as part of the pioneering team for Singapore Cambodia International Academy (SCIA).

Having been an educator, it is my personal mission to share the best practices of the Singapore education system with Cambodia and by engaging students with authentic learning to bring out the best in them.

I believe in the need to collaborate with, contribute to and learn from the local community through my participation in various roles and opportunities. My time in Cambodia has been an eye-opening experience.

After about 6 months in Phnom Penh, I mustered enough courage to ride a bicycle through the streets, and eventually upgraded my ride to a 50cc scooter.

Singaporeans and Cambodians share a common passion – food. I consider myself an adventurous foodie, having sampled unconventional Khmer delicacies such as the pong tia koun (fertilised duck egg), snails, deep fried tarantula and silkworms.

There is still so much to discover, to learn and to share. I am blessed that there is a group of active and like-minded Singaporeans who share the same aspiration to help lift up members of the host community.

Weng Aow (Aow Weng Leong) – above the call of duty

Currently General Manager of Angkor Palace Resort & Spa, Weng has been in Cambodia for 15 years. Weng is also the appointed Warden for Siem Reap province in the Embassy’s Warden Contact Network for Singaporeans in Cambodia.

He has gone beyond to assist Singaporeans in distress on numerous occasions. In one incident, Weng visited and tended to a Singaporean who had sustained an injury from a fall.

As they happened to be on the same flight back to Singapore, Weng accompanied the Singaporean to Siem Reap airport and kept an eye on him throughout the flight, making sure he was safely reunited with his family who was anxiously waiting at Changi Airport.

In another incident, a Singaporean family of five had a punctured tyre in the middle of their drive from the Cambodia-Thai border to Siem Reap. Although a mechanic was on his way to assist, Weng made an hour’s drive to ascertain the family’s wellbeing and accompanied them until the mechanic arrived. Weng’s efforts at going above the call of duty was featured in The Straits Times on 2 January 2020.

I had never imagined being a long-term resident in Cambodia. In 1997 when I was preparing for the opening of two hotels in Cambodia, I had volunteered to bring the first batch of Cambodian hotel trainees from Phnom Penh to Singapore for on-the-job training.

The turbulent events in Phnom Penh then were something that I had thought only happened in REEL life, but to witness them in REAL life was surreal, akin to scenes from “Have Gun Will Travel” unfolding before my very eyes.

Yet, despite that ’strong resistance’ (to being in Cambodia) in me, I have been in Cambodia for nearly 15 years now. What an irony! I guess one could say it was my ‘calling’ to be here. Without realising it, I have become part of the revival of the hospitality industry in the Kingdom.

Singapore Club Cambodia

Dear SCC members and fellow Singaporeans,

This year, we celebrate Singapore’s 55th National Day and commemorate the 55th anniversary of bilateral relations between Singapore and Cambodia.

We began the year with festivities for the Street Art Fest++ which saw more than 15,000 people attend the two-week festival at WB Arena in February 2020. SCC was happy to be a sponsor for the event, which brought Singaporeans and Cambodians together.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic which hit soon after has affected all of us deeply, including those of us with businesses in Cambodia.

Although we have suspended our activities for now as a precautionary measure, we are exploring different options including resuming some of our activities online, and reaching out via the warden groups.

We will continue to find ways of reaching out to the Singaporean community in Cambodia and ensure that we will continue to be well-represented in Cambodia during this difficult period. I wish all Singaporeans a happy 55th National Day and Majulah Singapura. Mr Albert Tan, President

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