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Singapore, Cambodia sign MOUs in healthcare, vocational training

"These agreements will foster closer collaboration and build lasting personal connections between our peoples," Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam says. 

PHNOM PENH: Two memoranda of understanding - one in healthcare and the other in vocational training - were signed on Monday (Jan 9), witnessed by Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Dr Tan is in Cambodia until Jan 11 for a state visit.

The agreements inked on Monday include an MOU to renew the working relationship between Singapore's Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and Cambodia's Calmette Hospital. An earlier MOU covered a three-year training collaboration on trauma care and resuscitation from 2014 to 2016. 

The renewal will include a broader range of training, including intensive care nursing, intensive care medicine and clinical quality for another three years. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the signing ceremony, Dr Chua Wei Chong, consultant trauma surgeon for TTSH, said: "By sharing with our counterparts, we also managed to learn from them, and the exposure to some of the patients here has given us a good exposure to cases that we don't see in Singapore."

The other MOU signed on Monday was between ITE Education Services (ITEES) and the Cambodian Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MOLVT).

Under the agreement, 80 Cambodian technical and vocational "master trainers" will be trained in the areas of infocomm technology, electronics and automotive technology over the course of 24 months. The participants will undergo a week of training in Phnom Penh and two weeks in Singapore, followed by a post-training workshop.

This is the second MOU ITEES has signed with its Cambodian counterparts. The first was signed in 2010 running through to 2014, and covered the education of industry and government leaders.

ITE Education Services CEO Tan Seng Hua said: "We hope that through this collaboration project, we will be able to do our part to help Cambodian teachers raise their technology standards."

Temasek Foundation International (TFI) will provide a one-time training grant for the MOU signed between ITEES and MOLVT of up to S$453,490, with the Cambodian ministry co-funding the remaining costs.

TTSH is still in talks with TFI over potential funding support.

HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ESSENTIAL FOR GROWTH: DR TONY TAN

The MOU signing ceremony followed a packed schedule for Dr Tan.

Earlier in the day, he called on Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, the Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk and Prime Minister Hun Sen.


President Tony Tan and Mrs Tan presenting their gifts to Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk. These include a framed photo of the late King Father with the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew during the former’s visit to Singapore in 1962. (Photo: MCI/Dr Tony Tan/Facebook)

In the evening, the king hosted Dr Tan to a royal banquet. 

Speaking at the banquet, Dr Tan highlighted Singapore's continued support for Cambodia's human resource development. “Technical cooperation and educational exchanges form another important pillar of cooperation between Singapore and Cambodia. Like Cambodia, Singapore believes that human resource development is an essential ingredient for growth,” he said.

“These agreements (memoranda of understanding) will foster closer collaboration and build lasting personal connections between our peoples.”