Dr. Leslie Lam with his wife, Dr Ivy Yap, on being awarded the danoship in Brunei
Being engaged in meaningful work while making full use of the opportunities that present themselves is also how cardiologist Dato Dr Leslie Lam sees it. Lam has a thriving practice here and is a pioneer in intervention cardiology. So high is his standing in his field that he has been taken on as a consultant to the Brunei Royal Family. Something he holds of value is also the charity work he does in Myanmar and the Seychelles, where he trains the doctors as well as assists in the treatment of patients.
His involvement in community service started quite by accident in Myanmar. He was on holiday in the country in 1991 where a friend introduced him to the head of the cardiology department of one of the top hospitals, which had recently acquired a new X-ray machine. He helped them work the machine and was invited to be a consultant. The Myanmar Cabinet approved his appointment and now most of the Cabinet is under his care. Lam has contributed towards building a team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons in the country. As he points out, there is no monetary gain involved but every time he visits, he is accorded VIP treatment. “The appreciation you get is worth more than money. Success has been given to me by society, I believe strongly that I must give back to it,” says the doctor. Locally, Lam has organised charity golf events with the proceeds going to the Straits Times Pocket Money Fund and donates to his old school, De La Salle Primary.
As satisfied as he is of his achievements, he is equally, if not more proud of having two well-adjusted daughters, both graduates of Princeton University. Beaming broadly, he says that “they are doing very well” but also stresses their strict upbringing. “When they were growing up, no branded goods were allowed and they had to eat anything that was put on the table.” That said, Lam himself is a connoisseur of the finer things in life and has an impressive wine collection of 5,000 bottles worth about $2.5 million.