SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): Irish singer Ronan Keating has apologised for an Instagram post that mistakenly claimed that dozens of cargo ships were denied entry into Singapore due to the coronavirus outbreak.
On Sunday, the 43-year-old posted on Instagram a photo of Singapore's port with about two dozen ships which he claimed were being held and unable to dock.
The post was taken down on Monday.
On Tuesday (March 3), Keating reposted the same photo and said: "I recently posted this (picture) after being told by a local in Singapore that the reason they were all parked up was due to the virus. I have been recently informed that this is not true and that this is how the harbour always looks."
He added: "I apologise if I offended anyone in my post you all know I would never purposefully do that."
But he also chided those who criticised his earlier Instagram post. "To all you haters out there, get on with your short life."
Keating said that he performed in Singapore and Jakarta when others performers were cancelling.
"I feel very blessed to be able to do what I do."
His apology on Tuesday came after the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Monday debunked his claims, clarifying that no cargo ships had been turned away from the Republic's port due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The authority said on its Instagram account that ships arrive or leave Singapore every two to three minutes and there can be about 1,000 ships at the port at any one time.
MPA also added that it has taken enhanced precautions and that it is "working round-the-clock to ensure that it is business as usual".
"#WeCouldntSayNothingAtAll," MPA added in its post, referring to Keating's hit song When You Say Nothing At All.
Keating rose to fame in the 1990s as a member of boyband Boyzone and has more than 330,000 followers on Instagram. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network
Did you find this article insightful?