The Minister for Transport, Ong Ye Kung has instructed the Ministry of Transport (MOT) to issue a Correction Direction (CD) to Singapore Incidents in relation to its Facebook and Instagram posts on 5 May 2021.
Both posts contained a video showing a large number of travellers from South Asia arriving at Changi Airport.
The video contained a watermark which states the date of when the video was taken as 5 May 2021 and the location as Changi Airport. However, MOT pointed out that this information is false.
In debunking the information provided in the video, MOT pointed out that:
a. First, the video showed passengers arriving at Changi Airport Terminal 1, and a clock indicating the time as 14:53 hrs. There were no flights from South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) that arrived at any terminal in Changi Airport between 08:00 hrs and 15:30 hrs on 5 May 2021.
b. Second, in the video, passengers were seen walking past a renovation hoarding at gate hold rooms D42/43 in Terminal 1. This hoarding was removed on 5 April 2021, establishing that the video was taken before 5 April 2021.
MOT also pointed that from 23 April 2021, 23:59 hrs, all long-term visit pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to India are not allowed entry into or transit through Singapore. With effect from 1 May 2021, 23:59 hrs, this border control measure was extended to all long-term visit pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
While there are still passenger flights arriving in Singapore from South Asia, MOT noted that these flights carry primarily returning Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents, cargo, or fly in empty to pick up passengers in Singapore who are returning to South Asia.
For example, on 5 May 2021, there were 5 passenger flights arriving in Singapore from South Asia, carrying a total of 50 passengers, all of whom were returning Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents.
MOT notes that all passengers arriving on these flights from the above-mentioned countries are currently subject to stringent border control and health measures. At Changi Airport, these passengers are escorted through the airport, separate from other passengers arriving from other countries.
Earlier on Thursday (6 May), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) had already debunked the said video, noting that “no flights from South Asia had arrived at Terminal 1 in the early afternoon of 5 May 2021.”
In a Facebook post, the Authority noted that the video—first published on the Singapore Incidents Facebook page on Wednesday (5 May) at 9:42 pm—is misleading and was not actually taken on that day.
In response to queries from CNA, CAAS said on Friday it is considering whether to take further action against those who posted or circulated the video.
Singapore Incidents has since posted a correction notice on its Facebook page.