SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 18 December 2019 – What do former Malaysia PM Najib
Razak, undergraduate Monica Baey and the Hong Kong protests have in common?
They were among the people and developments that riveted internet users in
Singapore this year, according to Yahoo’s 2019 Year in Review (YIR).
The YIR is Yahoo’s annual recap of the top search
trends, events and happenings over the year, based on the daily searches across
its platforms in 2019.
That Riveted The Nation
Crime and tragedy were all-consuming topics in Singapore
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is mired in
the scandal involving the 1MDB fund that he founded and chaired, was the subject
of intense interest among Yahoo users.
Netizens were also shocked by the brutal Orchard Towers
murder allegedly committed by a group of young adults. Natalie Siow, the only
female accused in the case, made the list of top searches on Yahoo.
28-year-old actor Aloysius Pang and his tragic death
following an accident during his army reservist training led many to search
online about ‘training safety’ problems and solutions. Actress Jayley Woo, who
made her relationship with Aloysius public after the accident, also emerged as
one of Yahoo’s top searches.
Monica Baey, a victim of a Peeping Tom case at the
National University of Singapore, was in the spotlight as she sparked a
national debate on campus safety and the penalty meted out to sex offenders.
The frosty relations between China and the US remained
on top of the minds of internet users, who closely monitored the moves by the
superpowers against each other throughout the year and their adverse impact on
the global economy. The trade war and tariffs, in addition to Chinese tech
giant Huawei, which is reeling from a component supply ban imposed by the US
government, were among the top search topics.
The socio-political unrest in Hong Kong has also
captured Singapore’s attention. With the world watching, the unprecedented
protests led to the withdrawal of the controversial extradition bill as
tensions ratcheted up between China and the West, particularly the US, over
perceived interference in the Chinese city’s affairs.
In Southeast Asia, all eyes were on the Indonesian
general elections. As 80 million people cast their vote, Yahoo users were keen
to know whether the country would maintain its identity as a secular state amid
rising Islamic fundamentalism.
London emerged as the third most popular holiday destination after Bangkok and Tokyo. This might be
due to the ease of passing through customs as the ePassport gates (automated) were extended to Singapore
passport holders in May at 15 airports across the UK.
blessed with myriad cultures and cuisines, saw a few intriguing keywords most
commonly searched on Yahoo this year. Dim sum emerged at the top of the list,
followed by the ever popular Hainanese chicken rice.
Singapore Sling also made a showing in tandem with the relaunch of Long Bar at
Raffles Hotel, where the iconic drink originated in the early 1900’s, after an extensive
renovation. Bubble tea, fish bee hoon and bak kut teh
were also among the most popular food cravings in the past year.
In Sports, football again dominated the list of top
searches, with people looking for news about the English Premier League, the
UEFA Champions League, and the Asian AFC Champions League.
Top English clubs Manchester United and Liverpool were
also widely searched as excitement intensifies in the competitive EPL.
Singapore’s F1 Grand Prix continues to attract
attendees — this year, the three-day action-packed event saw close to 270,000
people come together at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. The world’s only F1
night race made the list, along with the ever sensational NBA.
While the late Aloysius Pang, and Jayley Woo were two of the top searched
celebrities, Pang’s manager Dasmond Koh, who helped front media interviews
alongside Pang’s family, piqued Singapore’s interest too. The wildly popular JJ
Lin, who held a concert back home with tickets re-sold at inflated
prices, was also among Singapore’s top searches.
Actor Dennis Chew triggered heated debates about
casual racism when he appeared in a controversial ‘brownface’ ad, where he
portrayed an Indian moustached man.
An Instagram direct message exchange between Ian Fang and Carrie Wong where they badmouthed
fellow actor Lawrence Wong in between flirtatious texts, piqued the curiosity
of Yahoo users and elevated the celebs to the top of the search list.
For the biggest moments online and other surprises from
the year, take a detailed look at Yahoo Year in Review 2019 – https://sg.news.yahoo.com/yearinreview.
About the Yahoo 2019 Year in Review Methodology
To develop the Yahoo Year in Review, our team analyses
interest patterns based on users’ searches. It takes into account a number of
factors, including absolute volume and growth from previous periods to see which
themes and trends bubble to the surface.
Disclaimer: Please note the results are not necessarily
a representation of a popularity contest or voting.
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