Sex Tapes And The Haze: What Malaysians Were Searching For On Google In 2019

And bubble tea, of course.

Cover image via China Press & The Borneo Post

Christmas trees are decked up in our malls, which means it's also time for those yearly wrap-up stories

One of the more fun wrap-up stories is Google's 'Year in Search' data - which shows what were the trending topics of the year.

The searches are broken up into various categories, such as:
- terms,
- news,
- people,
- film,
- music,
- TV,
- gadgets,
- sports, and
- recipes.

Image via Google Trends

Here's a breakdown of what Malaysians were really interested in this year:

1. The simple 'bear' necessities

Despite Earth Day falling on 22 April every year, Malaysians were Googling for an 'Earth Day Quiz' in early July - making it the top search term in Malaysia for 2019.

The sudden popularity of the term could be due to several viral tweets asking Twitter users what animal are they based on the quiz. We bet quite a number of Malaysians learned that corals are animals, too.

Intergalactic warlord Thanos took second place, as Malaysians were highly excited by a Google Easter egg that allowed them to snap half of Google's search results into nonexistence.

In third place was the Cost of Living Aid (BSH), followed by Copa America 2019, and the Air Pollutant Index of Malaysia (APIMS) in fifth place.

2. Politically-aware Malaysians

The top news searches of 2019 shows a nation that was tuned in to political happenings, especially where it affects their daily lives.

The Air Pollution Index (API) was the top news of 2019, especially as API readings continued rising as September rolled on.

Image via The Borneo Post

Just 18 months after winning the 14th General Election, Barian Nasional won its first major victory at the Tanjung Piai by-elections on 16 November - making it the second most-searched news of 2019. The winning candidate, Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng, won by a majority of 15,086 votes, reported New Straits Times.

Pakatan Harapan's second budget tabling took third place among the most popular news topics of the year, while petrol prices came in fifth place.

The only non-political news trend of the year - The Alley - was fuelled by the bubble tea craze, with many looking for the deer's crème brûlée milk drink.

3. Sex tapes and scandals

Topping the list of most searched personalities is Indonesian actress Vanessa Angel. Searches for the actress spiked in January after she was arrested for allegedly offering prostitution services online, reported The Star. Searches for her name spiked again in June when she was sentenced to five months' jail for the crime.

Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali placed second on the list, after a video allegedly showing him and a man named Haziq Abdul Aziz having sex was circulated online.

A screencap from the video.

Image via China Press

Other personalities who made top five were actress Emma Maembong - who stirred controversy after she posted a couple photo while not wearing a headscarf - and actor Aliff Aziz for various scandals involving multiple women and most recently, disorderly conduct while drunk in Singapore.

In fifth place was South Korean popstar Jung Joon Young for multiple accusations of gang rape. It was also revealed that Jung secretly filmed his sexual encouters with several women and distributed the material in chatrooms. He was sentenced to six years in jail on 29 November, reported BBC.

Despite being a recent release, Todd Phillips' 'Joker' was Malaysians' most searched movie of 2019. The film follows failed comedian Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) as he slowly descends into madness and transforms into criminal mastermind, the Joker. 'Joker' received the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival, where it also premiered.

In second place was Marvel's first woman-led superhero film, 'Captain Marvel', followed by the long-awaited 'Avengers: Endgame'. 'Alita: Battle Angel' and 'Shazam' took fourth and fifth place, respectively. Which movies will make the 2020 trends, we wonder?

5. Battle of the mega corporations

If Malaysians wanted to buy a new phone, they only look to two brands: Apple and Huawei.

Ironically funny, considering the birth countries of both brands were locked in a trade war for most of the year.

Taking top place is the iPhone 11 as Malaysians sought to own the latest model through the most affordable mobile plans in the market.

In second place is Huawei P30, followed by Huawei P30 Pro in third place. Wrapping up the top five is the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the Huawei Nova 3i.

Malaysians sure were thirsty this year

Image via GIPHY

Check out what else Malaysians were searching for here.

The new year is so close. Here are some things to be aware of:

On a fun note, mark down these release dates on your calendar:

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