Flying home for free this Chinese New Year

Flying home for free this Chinese New Year
Mr Milton Goh (second from left) with his family. His oldest brother, Mr Michael Goh (left), had nominated him for Tiger Beer’s campaign.
PHOTO: Courtesy of Michael Goh

Back when he was a boy, Mr Milton Goh, the youngest of three brothers, would always get into fights with his siblings.

The 22-year-old undergraduate who is studying in Canada, told The New Paper he used to throw furniture at his brothers and spew vulgarities at his family.

But Mr Goh now counts the days until he gets home. Time at home "is never enough".

Mr Goh, a finance student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, said: "I missed birthdays and many special occasions because I was away. It can get very lonely too."

But things were different this Chinese New Year. Not only did he manage to fly back in time to celebrate the occasion with his family, he got to do it for free - he was one of the four winners of Tiger Beer's Chinese New Year #UncageReunions campaign.

The public had the chance to write in to Tiger Beer to nominate their loved ones to fly back in time for Chinese New Year.

Mr Goh's oldest brother, Mr Michael Goh, 29, nominated him.

Mr Michael Goh said he wanted his brother home to make up for all the time they lost fighting as children.

"We used to fight a lot, and it got ugly. We threw hot water and yelled vulgarities at one another," he said.

"I used to always bully my younger siblings... Bringing Milton home from overseas is a way to bring our family together again despite all that had happened."

The two brothers, who both said they are now "older and closer like never before", were raised by their grandmothers.

"We don't know how much longer they both have, and it would do good for them to see the whole family again," Mr Michael Goh said.

Their maternal grandmother was diagnosed with dementia six months ago.

RELIEF

Mr Milton Goh's trip home this Chinese New Year was the first since she was diagnosed. To his relief, she could still recognise him.

"I am so glad that she could still remember who I am, and that we got to share this new year together. A part of me was afraid she would not know who I was any more," he said.

Although his three-day trip was a short one, he was all smiles and thankful for the opportunity to be with his family.

"I spent as much time travelling as I did with my family, but it is all worth it," he said happily.

"There is nothing as important as this."

harizbah@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Jan 31, 2017.
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