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Celebrating Chinese New Year: Cabbies Hail a Night Off in Singapore

By:  Jennifer Lai Feb 19, 2013
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In the spirit of spreading happiness, Coca-Cola and Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) collaborated during the recent Chinese New Year to give three families a memorable gift money couldn’t buy.

On Feb. 9, the eve of Chinese New Year, three Coca-Cola conspirators jumped into pre-booked taxis and directed their drivers to a surprise dinner with their families on a night when the drivers were scheduled to work rather than enjoying the cherished family tradition.

Coca-Cola Singapore spent three months planning the secret project, working with the drivers’ families to finalize the details. The company saw the surprise as a way to symbolically thank Singapore’s taxi drivers – unsung heroes who travel the streets tirelessly every day – for their hard work and dedication.

Lim Family reunion dinner

The Lim Family enjoying their Coca-Cola Surprise CNY Reunion Dinner in one of the capsules on the Singapore Flyer


The Surprise

On the big night, the taxi drivers each picked up passengers from the Coca-Cola Singapore office and dropped them off at the iconic Singapore Flyer. When the drivers arrived, family members jumped out to surprise them. Smiles, hugs and laughter were topped off with a five-star dinner in the Flyer’s rotating cabins with panoramic views of Singapore’s skyline.

The three taxi drivers, Lim Choy Ann, Aw Chwee Tik and Goh Cheow Poon, were completely taken aback.

“When I got out of the cab, I saw my family and was wondering why they were here!” said Aw, who has been driving his taxi for 12 years. “I rushed out and even left my taxi meter running! Reunion dinners are important to me because they are part of being Chinese, and I am really glad that I can have such an early dinner with my family this year.”

SMRT cabby is surprised by his family at the Singapore Flyer

Mr Lim Choy Ann, 47, one of the SMRT cabbies is surprised by his family at the Singapore Flyer, with him are his  daughters.


Lim’s son, Desmond, was overcome with joy. “I’m very glad that we’ve been given this chance to have an earlier reunion dinner where my father can really enjoy himself without having to worry about going back to work. My siblings and I were really excited to catch the look on his face and we tried really hard to keep the surprise under wraps!”

Chinese New Year Tradition: The Red Envelope

Adding to the top-of-the-world experience, the God of Fortune made an appearance to specially present each driver with a red packet from Coca-Cola Singapore to cover the day’s taxi rental fee as well as their time off the roads. They also received fuel vouchers from SMRT.

“Many of our drivers sacrifice their personal time on important dates such as Chinese New Year eve so they can provide essential taxi services to our passengers,” said Eunice Lui, Deputy Director, Integrated Systems, SMRT Taxis. “So we are glad to be working with Coca-Cola Singapore to honour some of them and give them a well-deserved reunion dinner with their families.”