In Malaysia, Thanos, haze levels and BSH dominate Google searches for 2019

Google Malaysia’s head of communications Zeffri Yusof holds up a whiteboard with the words ‘Earth Day Quiz’, the most-searched term in Malaysia this year, during a Google event at Publika, Kuala Lumpur December 11, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Google Malaysia’s head of communications Zeffri Yusof holds up a whiteboard with the words ‘Earth Day Quiz’, the most-searched term in Malaysia this year, during a Google event at Publika, Kuala Lumpur December 11, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — From Thanos and the Cost of Living Aid (BSH) to the Air Pollution Index (API) readings, these random words and terms have one thing in common — they’re Google’s trendiest searches for 2019 in Malaysia.

Releasing its annual Malaysian Year in Search today, Google Malaysia took a look at the unique trending searches this past year, particularly the top ten for 2019, starting with the Earth Day Quiz.

The light-hearted knowledge test by Google coincides with Earth Day on April 22 every year, which assigns quiz takers an animal they are most like, based on their responses to questions such as their preferred activity on a Friday night or their preferred snack.

In second place is the ruthless Marvel Cinematic Universe villain Thanos, whose dialogue lines and personality have become iconic, inspiring merchandise and memes alike. More serious in third place is BSH, which saw many look it up to check on their funds.

Football remains an enduring passion for Malaysians, as the South American regional tournament Copa America 2019 came in fourth, particularly as host nation Brazil garnered its ninth winning title.

The ongoing haze pollution earlier this year which engulfed much of the Peninsular and East Malaysia led to the API being in fifth place. Other honourable mentions include Islamic prayer times in sixth place, while the movies Joker, Captain Marvel, and Avengers Endgame came in at seventh to ninth places respectively. The newly-launched Perodua Aruz SUV came in at tenth place.

Google Malaysia’s head of communications Zeffri Yusof said for the most part, trending searches in Malaysia have been fairly diverse in the past several years.

“It is neatly divided between entertainment with popular figures, and current affairs news. For example trending people this year include Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Indonesian celebrity Vanessa Angel, while trending news include the Budget 2020 and last month’s Tanjung Piai by-election,” he told Malay Mail following the media event revealing Malaysia’s trending searches at Publika along Jalan Duta.

Zeffri added such diversity was not always a given, as there have been instances when one phenomenon or field dominates all others in a given year.

“In terms of Malaysian search interests, last year was very political since it was the 14th general election. For 2014 it was primarily human interests, in light of the MH370 and MH17 tragedies that took place,” he said.

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