Before the 12th Malaysian General Election, bloggers were called numerous, often unflattering, names by Malaysian government officials and other unsavoury characters. Virtually immediately after the election results, they were hailed by many, including the same unsavoury characters, as “key players” and “prime movers”. Some have even gone so far as to blame the dismal election performance of the Barisan Nasional on bloggers and blogging.
Amidst all this, and the post-March 8 hype, this original, well-researched and very readable volume by upcoming Malaysian scholar, Jun-E Tan and renowned and committed social anthropologist, Zawawi Ibrahim, provides a necessary resource for those who wish to understand Malaysian blogging more comprehensively within a wider socio-political context. This volume is certainly necessary reading for Malaysians who wish to understand how the new media may or may not be able to contribute to the expansion of democratic space. And it really ought to be compulsory reading for the unsavoury characters who still refuse to understand where Malaysia is heading — Zaharom Nain, Centre for Policy Research and International Studies, USM