Spreading Festive Cheer to Taxi Drivers and Delivery Riders

PM Lee and NTUC show appreciation to platform workers who provide essential services during the Lunar New Year period.
By Kay del Rosario 31 Jan 2022

“I believe that if we help others, and you need help one day, people will help you too. I really believe that.”

This is a philosophy that Ratnah Yusof [pictured below] lives by. The 49-year-old Grab delivery rider always goes the extra mile for her customers.

When they forget to order drinks with their food, for example, she doesn’t mind taking a detour to buy some for them.

“I use my own pocket money then they will just refund me. It's no big deal. I just want to help,” she said.

Ratnah’s positive attitude has not gone unnoticed. Happy clients have given her good feedback and tips for a job well done. 

On Lunar New Year's eve, she was also one of over 30 platform workers visited by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Labour Movement leaders in appreciation of their services, especially during the festive period.

An Annual Tradition

Mr Lee was accompanied by Mrs Lee and joined NTUC President Mary Liew, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng, NTUC Central Committee members and union leaders on 31 January 2022 at Jurong Point mall.

The Labour Movement has been organising the annual tradition of visiting workers on Lunar New Year since 1999, to thank them for providing essential services during the holidays.

At the visit, Mr Lee and the NTUC leaders presented taxi drivers, private hire drivers, delivery riders, and mall workers with Lunar New Year gift bags. These included red packets, mandarin oranges, hand towels, vacuum flasks and face masks.

Commenting on his meeting with taxi drivers and delivery riders, Mr Lee said: “I caught up with them to thank them for their hard work, especially during the COVID-19 period. Many families depend on them, and they’ve been working hard for their own families.

“I also had the chance to talk to some of the taxi drivers. They've been very affected [by the impact of COVID-19] because people are working from home and most importantly, because we don't have so many tourists coming in now. And that's a significant impact on their income. But with the Government schemes and the efforts to adjust, I think they’re all coping, and we’re all hoping for a better year ahead this year, in the year of the tiger.”

Mr Ng said he was happy to visit taxi drivers, private-hire drivers as well as delivery riders.

“I’m quite relieved that the economy is recovering, and the lives of my union members are improving. I’m also glad that the gradual economic recovery is bringing back livelihood possibilities for many of our workers.

“Looking ahead, we hope to be able to assist our drivers and delivery riders with even more possibilities, especially in areas where we can move like workplace injury insurance, giving them better assurance. We will always be alongside our drivers and riders to give them our full support,” he said.    

NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Patrick Tay, as well as Yeo Wan Ling, advisor to NTUC affiliates National Delivery Champions Association (NDCA), National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA) and National Taxi Association (NTA), and Fahmi Aliman, director of the NTUC Operations Department, were also there to greet the workers.

They were accompanied by Minister for Transport S Iswaran and Second Minister of State for Transport Dr Amy Khor.

The visit was hosted by Mercatus Co-operative Limited, an NTUC social enterprise.

Read More: PM Lee shares his thoughts on this year's economic outlook at the Lunar New Year visit.