SINGAPORE - Taxi drivers were treated to free chicken rice on Tuesday (May 2) by a man who was filmed mocking a cabby in a viral video.
The giveaway at Mr Gary Lim's two restaurants - Yeo Keng Nam restaurant at Braddell Road and The Yang's Traditional Hainanese Chicken Rice at Serangoon Road - was arranged after Mr Lim, 37, was filmed blocking a taxi driver's way and telling him that he "cannot do big things" because of his profession.
Mr Lim later apologised to the taxi driver known only as Mr Sun, 33, in a phone call facilitated by Shin Min Daily News. He pledged to have 100 packets of chicken rice given out to taxi drivers between 3pm and 5pm on Tuesday at each of his two chicken rice outlets.
However, Mr Liu Ah Zhong, manager of Yeo Keng Nam restaurant, told The Straits Times that there was no limit to the number of packets they were giving away, as taxi drivers did not have predictable meal times.
When ST visited on Tuesday afternoon, the Braddell Road restaurant had already given out between 40 and 50 packets by about 3pm. The eatery had started distributing free rice from 10am, chef Lu Xing Chun, 36, said.
Anyone who says he or she is a taxi driver will be given the free rice, with no checks being conducted, along with a can of green tea, said the restaurant manager, Mr Liu.
A packet of chicken rice costs $4.10 after GST, and the drink costs $1.80 per can. A set goes for $6.
Taxi drivers picking up rice at the outlet did not seem angry, and instead were quite friendly, Mr Liu, 31, told ST. They were given extra rice or extra chicken upon request.
Mr Lim had angered the taxi community and many others when the video of him seemingly mocking Mr Sun went viral over the past weekend.
The chicken rice stall owner was shown telling the cabby, while flourishing $1,000 notes: "You can't do big things. You know why you are a taxi driver? Because you can't do big things."
He had tried to pay for his $12.45 cab fare with a $1,000 note at 2.51am on Thursday, Shin Min later reported.
Premier taxi driver Peter Chang, 59, who picked up a packet of chicken rice at the Braddell Road restaurant on Tuesday, told ST that he has forgiven Mr Lim since he apologised sincerely.
Mr Chang, who has driven a taxi for 20 years but has never encountered similar passengers, said he felt Mr Lim was very haughty in the video.
Since the video went viral, one of Mr Lim's shops received about 20 prank calls over Friday and Saturday, with some asking to speak to the boss and others just hanging up.