21 December 2019

Yahoo's 2019 Year in Review charts Singapore's fascination with fame, fortune and future

Malaysia's former PM Najib Razak, Singapore undergraduate Monica Baey and the Hong Kong protests have 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.
PM Najib Razak, who is linked to a scandal involving the 1MDB fund that he founded and chaired, was a subject of intense interest among Yahoo users.
Netizens were also shocked by a 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.
Actor Aloysius Pang and his 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 penalties meted out to sex offenders.
On the world stage, the frosty relations between China and the US remained top-of-mind throughout the year, including their adverse impact on the global economy. The trade war and tariffs, in addition to Chinese tech giant Huawei, which received a component supply ban imposed by the US government, were among the top search topics.
The sociopolitical unrest in Hong Kong also captured Singapore's attention.
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.
For travel, Bangkok and Tokyo were the most popular destinations. Foodwise, "dim sum" was the top search, followed by "Hainanese chicken rice".
The Singapore Sling also made a showing in tandem with the relaunch of Long Bar at Raffles Hotel. It had been closed for renovation. "Bubble tea", "fish bee hoon" and "bak kut teh" were also popular food cravings.
In sports, football again dominated searches, with people looking for news about the English Premier League (EPL), the UEFA Champions League, and the Asian AFC Champions League.
Top English clubs Manchester United and Liverpool were also widely searched as excitement intensifies for the EPL.
Singapore's F1 Grand Prix continues to attract. The world's only F1 night race made the list, along with the NBA.
Besides celebrities Pang and Woo, Pang's manager Dasmond Koh, who helped front media interviews alongside Pang's family, piqued Singapore's interest. JJ Lin, who held a concert in Singapore with tickets resold 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.

Browse the Yahoo Year in Review 2019 at https://sg.news.yahoo.com/yearinreview.

*To develop the Yahoo Year in Review, the 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 identify themes and trends. Results are not necessarily a representation of a popularity contest or voting.