The 22-year-old, who won the city-state's first
Olympic gold in the 100 meters butterfly in Rio last year, had
told local media it would be "nice to go to Malaysia's backyard
and teach them a thing or two".
"If I offended anyone, I do apologize... that wasn't my
intention," Schooling said on his arrival in the Malaysian
capital on Saturday.
"I'm really sorry for my comments and I definitely didn't mean
it that way."
Schooling won nine gold medals at the last SEA Games in
Singapore two years ago but will race in fewer events this year.
"I'll do my best in all of them. I'm just going to do my best
and let the outcome speak for itself. We have two days to
prepare so hopefully we'll put on a good performance in the
Games," he added.
"It's definitely not like training for me. Every race my dad
likes to say race fast and that actually holds a lot of ground.
There are a lot of great swimmers in the South East Asian region
so I gotta be the best as I can to make my country proud."
The 29th version of the biennial SEA Games continue until Aug.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Sudipto
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