Several photos of a man in the Parliament surfaced on social media on Tuesday, 17 July
Netizens have speculated that the man seen in the photos was "a ghost in the Parliament" and was observing the swearing-in ceremony of Senators from the public gallery of the Dewan Negara.
The ceremony took place at the Dewan Negara on Tuesday at 2pm.
According to an Instagram post by Buletin TV3, the photos were first posted by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa on his account on Twitter, who extended his congratulations to the eight new Senators on their appointment.
Social media have been rife with comments about the man in the photos, ranging from insults to questions about the authenticity of the images
However, in fact, the man in the photos was present as a guest to newly appointed Senator, P. Waytha Moorthy
Waytha was reported as saying in a Free Malaysia Today (FMT) article today, 18 July, that the man in the viral photos is actually a close friend and a brother known as Arunachalanandaji, a non-Indian national residing in India.
Waytha pointed out that Arunachalanandaji has been highly regarded for dedicating a big part of his life to propagating world peace and communal harmony. It was reported that the Senator regrets that Arunachalanandaji was subjected to personal insults on social media due to his appearance.
"He is my brother who has renounced his life for world peace and lives by a mountain in India in seclusion," Waytha was quoted as saying by FMT.
It was learned that Waytha had invited Arunachalanandaji to the ceremony out of respect
"I thought that since he dedicated more than 30 years of his life to world peace, it would be most appropriate for him to grace my swearing-in," he told FMT.
Waytha, chairman of Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF), was among the eight individuals who took their oath of office as senators yesterday.
He has made a comeback as Senator following his brief stint in the post in 2013 until 2014 during Datuk Seri Najib Razak's tenure as Prime Minister. He quit his senatorship less than a year after assuming office, claiming that Najib's administration did not keep promises made for the Indian community.
Waytha was also sworn in as the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (National Unity and Social Wellbeing) yesterday, following his swearing-in as Senator for a three-year term.
Meanwhile, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's cheeky remark during the first session of the 14th Parliament about the recent Opposition walkout also went viral yesterday: