A Singaporean couple who started an online petition for an annual public holiday to honour the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew have received a death threat.

Businessman John Lim and his wife, Madam Tan Lay Geok, started the website – – to petition the Government to declare 23 March a public holiday. This was the day Mr Lee died.

Yesterday (1 Apr), the couple received a death threat via email:

They have since filed a police report over the threat.

The petition, which asked Singaporeans to give their e-mail addresses as well as NRIC and telephone numbers, has also angered some netizens, who accused the couple of using the petition as a ruse to collect personal information.

Mr Lim is the president of the Academy of Certified Counsellors ( and his wife Madam Tan is the principal of ACC School of Counselling and Psychology.

On asking for personal data, Mr Lim said that he wanted to make sure that those who sign the petition are Singaporeans and permanent residents. The telephone numbers are required for random checks, he added.

“We have a privacy clause not to use the data for purposes other than the petition, and we will observe the Personal Data Protection Act and other laws on the information we collect,” he said.

“I am optimistic that we can collect 10,000 signatures and send the petition to the Government.”

According to the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPA) of Singapore, individuals need to be “informed of and consent to the purposes for which their personal data, including NRIC numbers, are collected, used, and disclosed by organisations”.

While the collection of NRIC numbers is not illegal, organisations should – “as a best practice” – avoid the over-collection of personal data, including NRIC numbers, where it is not required for their business or legal purposes.

“The PDPA allows organisations to use NRIC numbers collected for reasonable purposes for which consent has been obtained validly under the PDPA. However, organisations should consider the potential consequences of using NRIC numbers for a particular purpose,” said the PDPA in its advisory guidelines.

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