Top stories from The Straits Times on Thursday, Aug 9

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Thursday, Aug 9. 

Former president Tony Tan tops National Day awards list

Dr Tony Tan at the Istana in August last year. He is the ninth Singaporean in history to receive the Order of Temasek (First Class). ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG 

Dr Tan, 78, whose public service career spanned nearly four decades, has been conferred the Order of Temasek (First Class) - the nation's highest civilian honour. 


Catholic JC vice-principal regrets comment on neighbourhood secondary school students

During a talk, a vice-principal at Catholic Junior College said the institution is unlike a neighbourhood secondary school where, she claimed, most students have family issues. PHOTO: ST FILE

Mrs Yue-Chang Teck Hui, the school's vice-principal in charge of academic matters, had told students that most of them come from troubled families.


ESM Goh responds to 'heated reactions' to remarks on ministerial pay, says salaries not starting point in talent hunt

On his point about ministerial salaries, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong stuck to his guns, explaining in his latest post why he sees pay as important. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Mr Goh Chok Tong said he saw a silver lining in the comments: "It shows Singaporeans care deeply and hold leaders to account for their words and performance."


Readers salute their Singapore heroes as part of ST's National Day contest

(Clockwise from top left) Mr Yap Tat Ming, 48, and his mentor and friend Mr Richard Lim; para-paddler Jason Chee, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, marathon runner Chan Meng Hui, and Member of Parliament for MacPherson Tin Pei Ling. PHOTOS: YAP TAT MING, ST FILE, LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE, ST FILE

From an ex-convict who has turned over a new leaf to a para-athlete with incredible resilience, more than 90 readers wrote in to The Straits Times to share stories about their heroes.


11 defective SMRT trains repaired and returned to Singapore

In 2016, the Transport Ministry said 26 trains that were made in China had defects on them. Eleven have since been repaired and returned to Singapore, with 10 put into passenger service. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Transport Ministry had said in 2016 that 26 trains made in China contained defects, after engineers found cracks in the structure connecting the car body and the bogie.


Housewife fined $46k after maids spotted working on scaffolding outside house

Singaporean Willow Phua Brest, 46, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to four counts of failing to provide safe working conditions for her two Indonesian helpers. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW 

This is the first case in which a person is convicted for breaching work pass conditions involving the work safety of maids. 


China to match US tariffs on US$16b of imports from Aug 23

A worker covering bags of chemicals with a sheet at a port in Zhangjiagang in China's eastern Jiangsu province, on Aug 7. 2018. Chemicals are on the Chinese list of goods that will incur a 25 per cent duty. PHOTO: AFP

This matches an earlier move from Washington - which China has branded "very unreasonable" - in another ratchet higher for the trade war between the two nations.


Malaysia's Parliament repeals GST, set to replace it with SST in September

Speaking in Parliament, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said: "Finally, GST is dead." ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, speaking in Parliament, said of the unpopular consumption tax: "Finally, GST is dead."


Photo of British teen hugging her boyfriend goodbye before his life support was turned off goes viral

British teenage girl Stephanie Ray hugging her boyfriend as he was taken off life support. Her Facebook post has since gone viral. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/STEPHANIE RAY

Stephanie Ray, 15, had to bid farewell to 16-year-old Blake Ward, who was tragically swept out to sea by currents during a family trip last week.


Crazy Rich Asians movie premieres in LA with Singaporean stars taking to red carpet

The cast of Crazy Rich Asians (from left) Ken Jeong, Jon M. Chu, Jimmy O. Yang, Sonoya Mizuno, Gemma Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding, Awkwafina, Constance Wu, Chris Pang, Nico Santos, Ronny Chieng, and author Kevin Kawn at the Crazy Rich Asians premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Hollywood, California, on Aug 7, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

Here's a look at what the stars - including leading man Henry Golding and Singapore's Fiona Xie - wore to reflect the film's glitz and glamour.