Najib most searched-for person on Google Malaysia

By NG MIN SHEN / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

FORMER Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak (picture) is the most searched individual on Google Malaysia’s list of top 10 trending people this year, according to data from Google’s newly released annual Malaysian Year in Search.

The subsidiary of US-listed Alphabet Inc said in a statement yesterday that “Najib Razak” became the No 1 searched individual this year following the historic change in Malaysia’s government, as well as the heightened public interest in investigations of the former PM’s alleged misappropriations.

Most recently, Najib was arrested on Monday over tampering of the final audit report of state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

He was released on bail yesterday, following the completion of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s investigations into the tampering of the report.

The second top trending individual this year is PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (“Mahathir Mohamad”), followed by Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (“Syed Saddiq”).

In fourth place is Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (“Rosmah Mansor”), while former actress turned British royalty Meghan Markle is in the fifth spot after she was catapulted into the limelight for her marriage to the UK’s Prince Harry.

Other individuals in the top 10 trending people list include PKR president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (“Anwar Ibrahim”), Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu (“Mat Sabu”), actor and director Datuk Farid Kamil Zahari (“Farid Kamil”), Chilean footballer Alexis Sanchez and Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar (“Nurul Izzah”).

According to Google, the top trending search of 2018 is the World Cup football tournament which took place over four weeks in Moscow, followed by “SPR”, the Election Commission of Malaysia — attributed to the historic May 9 election.

Media channel “Astro Awani” made third place, while drama series “Lafazkan Kalimah Cintamu” and period drama “Story of Yanxi Palace” rounded off the top five trending searches.

Notably, Najib was also the top eighth trending search of 2018, while Dr Mahathir placed 10th.

Among the top trending news topics were “PRU 14” (also known as the 14th General Election), “Momo Challenge”, “ICERD” (the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination), “Lion Air”, “BR1M” (1Malaysia People’s Aid), “Budget 2019” and “SST” (the re-introduced Sales and Services Tax).

Google’s Year in Search reveals the Internet’s “spirit of the times” through an exploration of the over one trillion search queries the search engine receives each year.

In addition to year-end searches which highlight the top trends of 2018, the company also employs tools that provide insights into global, regional, past and present search trends.