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Updated 4 Apr 2012
hk-expatRaymond Hee Kwok Keong is a 35 year-old expat from Malaysia living and working in Hong Kong. He has been here for the past four years. Raymond is a medical doctor by training but not by profession. He currently works in a Danish pharmaceutical company as a Medical Head, conducting training for sales and marketing staff. Ray is into outdoor activities and extreme sports; he is a two-time Ironman finisher and has run many marathons including, most recently, the prestigious Tokyo Marathon.

Read more about expat life in the Hong Kong guide or read more expat experiences in Hong Kong

About you

Q: Where are you originally from?
A: I am from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Q: Where are you living now?
A:  Hong Kong

Q: How long you have you lived in Hong Kong?
A:  Four years

Q: Did you move with a spouse/ children?
A:  No, I was single when I arrived here, I am still single now

Q: Why did you move to Hong Kong; what do you do?
A:  I was a medical doctor working for the Ministry of Health in Malaysia back then. I got recruited by a pharmaceutical company that has the Asian HQ based in Hong Kong. Somehow, I seized the chance to settle in Hong Kong permanently after I thought it would be a great international exposure for me to work abroad.

About Hong Kong

Q: What do you enjoy most about your host city, how’s the quality of life?
A:  Hong Kong is full of energy. I like the fast pace and the equality of both work and social opportunities. I admire the thorough connectivity by public transport in Hong Kong and the ability of one to savor both the concrete jungle and the greens outdoor.

Q: Any negatives? What do you miss most about home?
A:  It has to be the cost of living. It has to be the wide variety of Malaysian cuisines which i missed the most.

Q: Is the city safe?
A:  Extremely safe. The crime scenes one sees on local TV dramas does not portray the overall picture of the real Hong Kong today

About living in Hong Kong

Q: Which are the best places/suburbs to live in the city as an expat?
A:  I would recommend Lamma or Cheung Chau island for expats that want a more quiet ambiance. The New Territories also provide a lush surroundings for expats that wish to escape from the stress in the city.

Q: How do you rate the standard of accommodation?
A:  Pretty costly for tourists and new expats. Places are small but is adequate for myself

Q: What’s the cost of living in Hong Kong compared to home? What is cheap or expensive in particular?
A:  Cost of living here is on the high side for sure compare to Malaysia. Anything less than HKD 8000 per month would not get one a decent flat. That amount of money would easily enable me to rent a penthouse in the business district in Kuala Lumpur for two months!

Q: What are the locals like; do you mix mainly with other expats?
A:  Locals are easy to mix with. I speak Cantonese back home in Malaysia so I have no problem blending in as most of my friends here are locals.

Q: Was it easy meeting people and making friends in Hong Kong?
A:  Hong Kongers are ego lots. Nevertheless, most are friendly to expats and will open up once they are comfortable with you

About working in Hong Kong

Q: Did you have a problem getting a work visa/permit?
A:  Not at all, as long there is a full sponsorship from the local company

Q: What’s the economic climate like in the city, is there plenty of work?
A:  There are plenty of opportunities for everyone. Hong Kong is the gateway to mainland China and China is fast becoming a financial hub so I reckon few years down the road, Hong Kong will remain competitive and transform herself to another new milestone

Q: How does the work culture differ from home?
A:  Very different. Locals are sharp in precision and hard working. Most of us does not really leave the office before 8pm but in Malaysia, most of the office workers are already packing their bags when the clock ticking at 5pm!

Q: Did a relocation company help you with your move?
A:  I did not use that. I arrived with just a few suitcases. Most of my daily supplies can be bought easily here

Q: How would you rate the healthcare?
A:  Fantastic. Most of us including the expats are well taken care of by our respective employers. Private healthcare may be costly but with insurance, everything can be taken care of pretty efficiently

And finally…

Q: Is there any other advice you like to offer new expat arrivals?
A:  Soak into the local atmosphere. Mingle with the locals and eat dim sum- Hong Kong's best export to the world!

~ interviewed May 2012

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