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.

The Year in Review (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.

Top Happenings That Riveted The Nation

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.

Read the story here.

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.

Read the story here.

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.

Read the story here.

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.

Gastronomic Indulgences

Singapore, blessed with myriad cultures and cuisines, saw a few intriguing keywords most searched on Yahoo this year.

  • Dim sum
  • Hainanese chicken rice
  • Singapore Sling
  • Long Bar at Raffles Hotel
  • Bubble tea
  • fish bee hoon
  • bak kut teh

Sporting Fever

Football again dominated the list of top searches, with people looking for news about:

  • English Premier League
  • UEFA Champions League
  • Asian AFC Champions League
  • Manchester United
  • Liverpool
  • Singapore’s F1 Grand Prix
  • NBA

Most Searched Celebrities

  • Aloysius Pang
  • Jayley Woo
  • JJ Lin
  • Dennis Chew
  • Ian Fang
  • Carrie Wong
  • Lawrence Wong

For the biggest moments online and other surprises from the year, take a detailed look at Yahoo Year in Review 2019.