LETTER | I refer to the recent reportedly planned attack on the Freemason building in Johor Bahru by suspected terrorists. I am not surprised by it as Freemasonry in Malaysia has been wrongly demonised for too long as being a secret Zionist and anti-Islamic organisation trying to establish global supremacy. Allow me to share the truth about Freemasonry (also known as the Craft) which is one of the oldest and largest, peaceful, charitable, non-religious, non-ethnic, and non-political fraternities in the world with around five to six million Masons. Freemasonry, which transcends ethnic, religious, social and educational divisions, promotes moral and spiritual development by preaching the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God. This noble “borderless brotherhood” is most relevant in today’s uncertain world of sectarian and ethnic strife to promote universal peace, understanding and unity. The three grand principles of Freemasonry are brotherly love (being tolerant and behaving with kindness and understanding to fellow beings); relief (acting charitably towards both own brethren and the community at large); and truth (striving for truth in all matters, demonstrating integrity in daily actions, and adhering to high moral standards). With regard to relief, Masons in Malaysia have donated generously millions of ringgit to various multi-racial and multi-religious charitable organisations and needy individuals. Freemasonry has been falsely misrepresented by certain quarters, either due to sheer ignorance or in pursuit of a self-serving agenda. I wish to dispel some of the grossly unfair and inaccurate propaganda against Freemasonry. First, Freemasonry is not a secret society; it is a society with certain secrets pertaining to phrases, grips and signs by which Freemasons identify one another and establish their respective degrees of attainment in Masonic knowledge. More importantly, the constitutional rules, aims, principles, meeting place, and membership of a masonic lodge are known to the authorities. Indeed, the Malaysian masonic lodges are registered with the Registrar of Societies. Second, Freemasonry is neither a religion nor a religious body with a particular path to salvation. Discussion of religious matters is strictly forbidden at Masonic meetings. There is no such thing as a “Masonic” God. Neither does Freemasonry promote any one religious creed. Masons are expected to continue to follow and practise their own faith whatever that may be. Indeed, initiates into Freemasonry take an obligation on the Volume of Sacred Law (the sacred text of one’s personal faith) promising to uphold the teachings of Freemasonry, assisting brethren in distress, and not to reveal the secrets of Freemasonry. Third, Freemasonry is not a Zionist movement and neither is it a threat to Malaysia’s national security. For the record, the late prime minister Hussein Onn stated in the Dewan Rakyat in October 1978 that, based upon a detailed study by a committee appointed by the National Islamic Affairs Council, there is no evidence to prove of any links between Freemasonry and Zionism. Hussein also reiterated that “there is no proof to say that Freemasonry is a threat to the nation either as a social threat or as a security threat”. Fourth, Freemasonry does not worship Satan; there is no satanic ritual involved in lodge meetings. Additionally, what Freemasonry advocates is the antithesis of the very concept of Satan. Freemasonry champions good against evil, justice against injustice, and brotherly love against intolerance and hatred. Fifth and finally, Freemasonry is not a secret world order trying to establish global supremacy. There is no one single or centralised worldwide body that governs Freemasonry. Furthermore, Masons are strictly forbidden to discuss politics during Masonic meetings. They are, however, exhorted to become exemplary citizens by demonstrating loyalty to one’s nation and strictly adhering to its laws. In a nutshell, Freemasonry is neither a political nor a religious organisation. It is a social and fraternal organisation promoting universal brotherhood, peace, religious freedom, integrity, high moral standards, and good citizenship.