Nothing sparked curiosity among Singaporeans this year quite like the haze, according to Google.
The haze topped not only the technology giant's overall Trending Searches chart, but also the Trending Singapore News chart this year, which the firm compiles from the country's top searches via its search engine.
Singaporeans also wanted to know more about the Hong Kong protests, which came in second on the Trending Searches chart.
But there was more than just serious news on Singaporean minds this year. Hollywood superhero movies Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel came in at third and fourth place on the Trending Searches chart, reported The Straits Times.
What else was Singaporeans searching for this year?
Here are Google's top 5 trending searches for 2019:
1. Singapore haze
Living in Singapore means being no stranger to the haze spreading from the forest fires in Indonesia and Malaysia due to the slash-and-burn technique of clearing land for farming. The smog was at an all-time high after a three-year hiatus in September, reaching “unhealthy levels” of ranging of PSI levels between 101-200.
2. Hong Kong protests
Since June, Hong Kong citizens have been taking to the streets to demonstrate their unhappiness and lack of confidence towards the island’s government led by Chief Executive Carrie Lam. The issue was sparked by the extradition bill fielded by Lam’s government after a murder incident, which made people fearful of the erosion of the island’s legal system. While the bill has since been suspended by Lam, the people in Hong Kong are still protesting for five of their demands to be met, including one that opens an inquiry into police brutality.
3. Avengers: Endgame
It comes to no surprise that the blockbuster that concluded a storyline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is one of the top searches of 2019. After all, the film, which focused on the battle between the Avengers and Thanos, broke records and quickly became the highest-grossing film of all time.
4. Captain Marvel
Another MCU franchise to top the search list was Captain Marvel. Much like 2018’s Black Panther, the Captain Universe movie featured lead actress Brie Larson received much fanfare for its female-led superhero theme, the first of its genre to pass the billion-dollar mark at the box office.
5. iPhone 11
The yearly Keynote event by Apple gathers a lot of attention as it announces new releases and updates. This year, Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone 11. Available in two iterations - iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro - features new elements including three rears cameras (for Pro and Pro Max models) and better photo and video-taking capabilities. To find out more about the new iPhone 11, click here.
These are Google's top 5 trending Singapore new for 2019:
1. Singapore haze
2. Jewel Changi Airport
Singaporeans love shopping. In fact, “love” might be an understatement to describe the extent of our fondness. So it comes to no surprise that when a spanking new mall opens, we flock to it like moths to a flame. The biggest mall opening in 2019 goes to Jewel Changi Airport that has features including the Shiseido Forest Valley, an indoor garden, and the world’s largest indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex.
3. TOTO $12 Million Hong Bao Draw
The yearly TOTO Hong Bao Draw possibly draws the biggest attention (and purchase) due to its hefty prize money. This year saw a win of $13.6 million that was shared among two persons who had purchased their tickets in Yishun. The highest record for the lottery draw was $13.9 million in 2016.
4. Funan Mall
Another mall that made the list of top searches was Funan mall. The former tech-focused mall had undergone revamp and was reopened at the end of June. Accompanying the rows of new-to-market brands and familiar names include features such as an urban farm, an internal cycling track and a theatre space.
5. Monica Baey
Monica Baey was a victim of sexual assault after she was filmed showering by Nicholas Lim in Eusoff Hall in the National University of Singapore last November. She took to her social media to critique at the inadequate punishment against the perpetrator and that went viral. As a result, it sparked a debate about the plight of sexual harassment and gender equality in Singapore.