Malay groups threaten to derail international Freemason meet in Penang

Malay groups lodged nine police reports to stop the Scottish Masonic Conference in Penang on February 18, 2016. — Picture by Opalyn Mok
Malay groups lodged nine police reports to stop the Scottish Masonic Conference in Penang on February 18, 2016. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 18 — Several Malay groups in Penang said they will block an international Freemasons conference scheduled to be held here next week if authorities do not do so.

The groups including Gabungan Perwakilan Melayu, Persatuan Muslimim Pulau Pinang, Perwira and Persatuan Muka Buku Pulau Pinang also lodged nine police reports today against the Scottish Masonic Conference.

“After looking through their website about the conference and although they have been in our country for a long time, we still feel uneasy and uncomfortable with such an international conference to be held here in Penang,” said Mohd Hafiz Mohd Nordin, chairman of the Jaringan Muslimim Pulau Pinang which is an umbrella body for 13 Malay non-governmental organisations.

He claimed the Freemasons were linked to Zionists and propagated “evil conspiracy theories against Islam and Muslims”.

He further claimed that the organisation was masquerading as a welfare movement, but could have a “secret agenda that even the media are unable to reveal”.

No evidence was provided to support any of the allegations.

“We want the police to investigate the conference, to find out what it is about, to check if the organiser is a registered society, to find out their activities here and why they chose to hold it here in Penang and at the Bayview Beach Resort,” he said, adding that they also want the police to investigate if the hotel had any links to the organisation.

In his police report, he urged the police to stop the conference if it posed a threat to the harmony of the society especially if it causes discomfort and uneasiness among Muslims.

“If the police don’t stop them, we will stop the conference because we do not want it to be held here,” he said.

The four-day Scottish Masonic Conference, to be attended by Freemasons from 15 countries worldwide, is scheduled to be held from February 24 to 27.

Two days ago, a senior member of the organiser, the District Grand Lodge of the Middle East (DGLME), rejected allegations that the organisation is part of the Illuminati.

He told Malay Mail Online that the DGLME was a registered society consisting of professionals such as lawyers and doctors and that the organisation is a charity and self-development organisation like the Rotary Club.

Last week, Umno Youth executive council member Armand Azha Abu Hanifah labelled the conference as an “Illuminati agenda” by the Freemasons on his blog.

He called on Islamic groups to rally against the conference here and also demanded that the state government stop the conference.

Freemasonry is a collection of diverse worldwide fraternities that started out as local groups for stonemasons, steeped in rituals and symbolisms.

It has been linked to the Illuminati in a conspiracy theory of a secret group of masterminds allegedly controlling world affairs and trying to establish a New World Order, although there is no evidence suggesting such a group exists.

Some Muslims oppose Freemasonry, claiming that it is linked to Jews, Zionists, Satan worship, and even linking it to Dajjal, the purported anti-Christ in Islamic tradition.

Freemasons worldwide are divided by districts, and DGLME is among the 26 District Grand Lodges under the main organisation, Grand Lodge of Scotlands ― with jurisdiction over 22 lodges in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

DGLME started operations in Kuala Lumpur in 1916, bringing together three lodges in then Malaya ― Lodge Scotia in Penang, Lodge Tullibardine in Kuala Lumpur, and Lodge Malay in Klang.

Besides DGLME, there also exists the District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Archipelago under a different movement, the United Grand Lodge of England, dating back to Penang’s founding by Francis Light in 1786.

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