SINGAPORE -- It was no more than a glance, but Aye Aye Win's respectful mid-sentence nod toward her 83-year-old father said as much as anything else about why she wants to remain in Singapore after three decades in the city-state, away from her family in Myanmar.
The old man, Maung Htay, had been in Singapore "for a few weeks" to get medical treatment that Aye Aye Win said was out of his reach at home -- a legacy of decades of meager health spending by Myanmar's long-ruling military junta.
She runs a small shop in Peninsula Plaza, a vibrant commercial complex that is the center of Myanmar life in Singapore. Women, their cheeks painted with cream-colored thanaka -- a Myanmar cosmetic made from tree bark -- perch on high stools behind shop counters selling cellphones. Other shops selling longyi -- a Myanmar version of the sarong -- sit alongside restaurants dishing up Myanmar staples such as tea-leaf salad and mohinga, a popular curried fish and noodle soup.