After running out of excuses for their demoralising defeat in Permatang Pauh, the BN government is now expected to bring their heavy guns to bear on more convenient scapegoats: bloggers.
The Malaysian Insider yesterday in an article "Government to target blogosphere next", here, said the government reached a sober assessment that it could all end in tears for the Barisan Nasional at the next general election if tough action is not taken to counter allegations on the Net and hold owners of blogs accountable. This conclusion was reached during a meeting last week involving several Cabinet ministers and senior government officials.
With the recent arrests and subsequent release of bloggers Bakaq a.k.a Penarik Beca and Raja Petra Kamarudin, it is believed that the government has begun a crackdown and will now come down hard on bloggers. This follows a disturbing worldwide trend as reported by a World Information Access (WIA) study project at the University of Washington, here, that since 2003, 64 citizens unaffiliated with news organizations have been arrested for their blogging activities in several countries which include Malaysia and the United States. The WIA report also predicts more arrests in 2008. (See table summarizing global blogger arrests below).