PUTRAJAYA - A minister in Malaysia has spoken in support of a relative who is "like a brother" after images of the man with were mocked on social media.
Photos of the man attending a senators' swearing-in ceremony went viral on Tuesday, with Netizens saying there appeared to be "a ghost" in Parliament.
The man in question is a Singaporean called Arunachalanandaji, said Hindraf leader P. Waytha Moorthy on Wednesday (July 18), according to a report in the New Straits Times.
Mr Arunachalanandaji, he said, is residing in India and has dedicated his life to propagating world peace.
“He is my relative and I also see him like my own brother,” said Mr Waytha, the new Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, after attending a special briefing at his department.
“I was shocked to see and hear so many assumptions about his presence at Parliament yesterday (Tuesday).
“It’s not right for us judge anybody by his looks. He has dedicated 30 years of his life to nature. He has lived in seclusion in the mountains in India,
“I have got great respect for him and that is why I invited him to the swearing-in ceremony. He accepted my invitation and supported me on my appointment as a senator.”
Mr Waytha declined to comment on Mr Arunachalanandaji’s mode of dress, the NST reported.
He said racial unity would be his main focus as he was the minister in charge of unity.
“In the spirit of a new Malaysia, people must change their perceptions,” he added.
“They must learn and understand the cultures and ways of life of Malaysians of different races and religions.
“Honestly, many people only know the three main races in the country, which are Malays, Chinese and Indians.
“But, there many more races in this country,” he said, adding that Hindraf was being registered as a political party.