One of Phnom Penh’s residents from Hong Kong is architect, builder and material supplier Silky Lee, who came to Cambodia less than three years ago after spending several years in Toronto, Canada.
In Lee’s Chinese tradition, the elders give the lucky money to the younger generation.
“I always got lucky money from my mother,” he said.
These days Lee gives lucky money every Chinese New Year to his kids.
”This is compulsory,” he said. “I have to give this every year.”
As long as Lee can remember, on the first day of every Chinese New Year, his relatives always got together for lunch and dinner.
“You pay your bills before the Chinese New Year and you give the lucky money to the people that you know. You pay the lucky money to the people, even if you don’t know him you pay because it is good for you,” he said.
According to Lee’s tradition, after two days or one week, the people go to the temple and pray for the coming year to be prosperous.
“You have to pay money to the temple and give a donation,” he said.
Lee came to Phnom Penh to work on building and design jobs for Neak Oknha Kith Meng. Now he’s looking for new premises, maybe on Mao Tse Tung Boulevard or Monivong Boulevard selling high-end hardware and building materials from China and Japan.
In Hong Kong, Lee lived at Jardine’s Lookout, one of the very exclusive places to live on the hilltops of Hong Kong Island. Lee emigrated from Hong Kong to Toronto in 1989 and has a Canadian passport now.
Lee’s son Jimmy is an interior designer in Hong Kong. His daughter, Yin Peng owns a Vietnamese restaurant in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong.
Lee started out as a Hong Kong policeman with the Royal Hong Kong Police, in the Wanchai district for ten years and then studied architecture at the University of South Queensland in Australia.
He served for a number of years in Hong Kong government’s Public Works department, including building an extension for DHL at the Hong Kong International Airport, one of the newest and most beautiful international airports in the world.
Starting this year, Lee is going to develop his own line of building materials. He is the director of Peyton International Holdings Ltd.
“From this Chinese New Year, I am ready to develop my building material line. I think Cambodia is going up,” he said.
“Cambodia is good because it looks like there’s no financial crisis, going up steady, good for our people to work here. Too fast is very dangerous. It is better to have steady growth, slowly and surely,” he said.