PUTRAJAYA: The new Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, P. Waytha Moorthy, said a man with “long braided hair and a thick beard” who accompanied him to Parliament yesterday was like a brother to him.
The Hindraf leader’s comments came after photos of the man at the Senators’ swearing-in ceremony yesterday went viral.
Waytha said the man was a Singaporean called Arunachalanandaji.
He was residing in India, he said, and had dedicated his life to propagating world peace.
“He is my relative and I also see him like my own brother,” said Waytha after attending a special briefing at the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department today.
“I was shocked to see and hear so many assumptions about his presence at Parliament yesterday.
“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.”
Waytha declined to comment on Arunachalanandaji’s dressing.
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.