Top stories from The Straits Times on Sunday, Aug 12

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Sunday, Aug 12.


How much should O levels matter? The case for late bloomers


(Clockwise from top left) MP Liang Eng Hwa, entrepreneur Tan Kah Chye, Mr Joshua Soh and Mr Mark Phooi. PHOTOS: ST FILE, TIMOTHY DAVID, TNP FILE

With Education Minister Ong Ye kung proposing a review of the use of O-level results in university admission of poly graduates, ST speaks to four who did poorly at the exams but excelled later in life.

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Poor schoolboy in National Day Parade film meets kind teacher again - after 46 years


On Aug 11, 2018, Mr Veera met his teacher, Mrs Chee Siew Chuan, whom he has not seen since he left Canberra Primary, at her home in Yio Chu Kang. PHOTO: COURTESY OF VEERA SEKARAN

When Mr Veera Sekaran, then a Primary 4 pupil, could not afford to buy him a pen for class, Mrs Chee Siew Chuan got his classmates to give him a set of stationery and a school bag.

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Rohingya refugees: Trapped in a half-life, yearning to break free


Rohingya refugees going about their daily lives as they make their way around the Kutupalong camp. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG 

ST visits Bangladesh to give a first-hand account of the day-to-day existence endured by nearly a million Rohingya in refugee camps, after fleeing violence in Myanmar.

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Tampines HDB residents keep koi fish in 'pond' built into multi-step entrance


The unit is on the ground floor of Block 415 in Tampines Street 41, a low-rise HDB flat. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

The unit is on the ground floor of a low-rise HDB block. Although the entrance is blocked, the residents can access their home because they also own the adjacent unit.

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It Changed My Life: From gangster to potter who helps at-risk youth

Mr Kim with his mother Foo Sai Fang in 2008. Though his parents divorced when he was 11, his mum did not fight for the flat so her kids would have a permanent roof over their heads. But that was not to be. Mr Kim Whye Kee, 39, in his pottery studio.
Mr Kim Whye Kee, 39, in his pottery studio. It all started with a three-month basic pottery course before he was released from prison in 2008. Last month, he staged his first solo exhibition - Tea, Pottery, Temenggong. He has helped start two outreach programmes to assist at-risk boys and those from difficult family backgrounds in Taman Jurong. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

Once a gang leader who spent time in prison three times, Mr Kim Whye Kee turned his life around with clay and now has his own pottery studio. 

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Beware casual snobbery that shows contempt for ordinary folk


ST ILLUSTRATION: CEL GEULAPA

Casual snobbery from ordinary folk is bad enough; it is a source of worry if it should come from members of the elite whose salaries, never forget, are paid by us taxpayers.

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Ex-leaders detected shady practices at Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Founded in 1835, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is one of Singapore's oldest Hindu places of worship. A probe by the COC has found "severe mismanagement" in how the temple was run, and its chairman has been removed.
Founded in 1835, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is one of Singapore's oldest Hindu places of worship. A probe by the COC has found "severe mismanagement" in how the temple was run, and its chairman has been removed. ST PHOTO: LEE JIA WEN

One of Singapore's oldest Hindu temples had its chairman removed from his post last week, after a probe found "severe mismanagement" in how the place was run.

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Man who sought ‘serenity’ before crashing stolen plane near Seattle is identified


PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

Richard B. Russell, a ground service agent at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, flew the plane for about an hour before crashing it.

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Unpaid student loans amounting to RM39 billion nearly same as 1MDB debt: Malaysian PM Mahathir


Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad said the amount of money owed by people who took study loans from the National Higher Education Fund was about RM39 billion (S$13 billion). PHOTO: EPA-EFE

"I do not know in Malaysia if we have sense of shame because our sense of shame is when we are badly dressed or caught stealing something," said Dr Mahathir. 

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Want better financial health? Here's 53 money tips, from investment to insurance


Invest editor Lorna Tan highlights 53 top money tips, covering a wide range of finance issues from saving to insurance to investing, in bite-size nuggets. PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES

As Singapore celebrates its 53rd birthday, Invest editor Lorna Tan highlights these top tips, covering a wide range of finance issues, in bite-size nuggets.

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