As the only child, Lam Tze Tze — she is the executive director at Electro-Acoustics Systems — is indisputably the apple of her father Tong Loy’s eye. As she is getting prepped for this shoot, the founder and CEO of Electro-Acoustics Systems and his wife Ping Yee look on adoringly as hair and make-up artists fuss over her.
Since her return a few years back from working abroad, the close-knit family is almost always seen together at social lunches and galas, or they’ll be out as a trio shopping for tech gadgets or off on a holiday.
They work together in the family business, though the day-to-day running of the company is now left to Tze Tze. She shares with pride in her voice: “In business and in life, my dad taught me to be responsible and reliable. His principles in business and in life are to have integrity and gratitude, and to be always mindful of your actions.
“His ambition and vision led him to establish the first professional audio-visual systems integration company in Singapore in 1982 and today, we’re a market leader in Singapore and eight other countries.
“Perhaps the entrepreneurial spirit runs deep, as I’ve always wanted to run my own business since I was young. Even when I worked in a MNC overseas, I ran and managed the business as if it were mine, ensuring that decisions were made in the best interest of the corporation.”
Tong Loy affirms that they “both want to be successful, and are persistent in getting things right”, and adds that both he and his daughter strive to have a balanced lifestyle. While he claims that both of them are optimists, like any protective father, he admits that to this day, he worries when Tze Tze travels alone. “I’m also concerned about whether she can pick herself up if faced with failures and be able to move on.”
In any case, Tze Tze always turns to him. “I go to him for advice. Most of the time, it’s to reaffirm what I had already planned to do, but of course, parents almost always give the best advice as they have your best interests at heart. He is the best dad I could ask for and he has always been there for me. Though…” she trails off with a laugh, “sometimes, I need him to give me space.”
Given how close they are, do they have a secret father-daughter pet phrase or code word? Tong Loy exclaims: “I cannot say!” Tze Tze laughs and says: “It’s a look, not a code word!”
Art direction: Audrey Chan
Photography: Joel Low
Hair: Sean Ang