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Posted by on Sep 18, 2008 in Media | 0 comments

Second Blogger Arrested In Malaysia

Bloggers in the United States are considered an increasingly-pesky, noisy bunch who can influence political parties and shove otherwise-neglected stories into the mainstream media and political realm. Bloggers in other parts of the world are considered serious political threats — and can be and sometimes are arrested. Today’s proof: Malaysia arrests its second blogger:

An opposition blogger has been arrested for allegedly displaying a national flag upside down on his website, as the government comes under more pressure.

Syed Azidi Syed Aziz, better known as Kickdefella, is the second blogger to be arrested in a week.

The Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, is demanding a vote of no confidence in the government.

Mr Anwar says he now has the support of enough MPs to bring down Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.

Mr Syed Aziz, picked up late on Wednesday, is being held under the Sedition Act.

He is known as a supporter of the conservative Islamic PAS party, a component in the coalition seeking to topple the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.

Mr Syed Aziz’s website had recently advocated that people fly the Malaysian flag upside down as a protest against the current political upheaval.

Mr Abdullah reportedly called the protest “a malicious act” and police were told to investigate the campaign.

And so he was arrested. Some warned that the arrest of the first blogger had already set a bad precedent.

This is a further sign of how 21st-century Internet journalism and Internet advocacy posts (many blog posts are glorified op-ed pieces) undo much of the conventional media-government rules of the game that have prevailed throughout the world. Political candidates can now bypass corporate or government-sympathetic media to get their message out. And with a computer and by setting up a blog that costs nothing to begin with, anyone can write and perhaps gain an audience with viewpoints unfiltered by corporate gatekeepers or government influence.

It can mean readership or, in some parts of the world, jail.

And arrested bloggers have been news — arrested for varying reasons, not always political:
–Blogger arrested in Morocco.
–Blogger arrested in France.
Blogger crackdown in Russia.
–Pedophile blogger arrested near UCLA.
Houston blogger arrested.
–Blogger arrested over Guns ‘N Roses leaks (We erroneously had the word “leak” earlier. We regret the error.)Dissident Saudi blogger arrested.