Get your thinking cap on because Malaysians will soon be invited to name Zoo Negara’s baby panda!
The panda cub was born to Xing Xing (father) and Liang Liang (mother) in August this year and has since become quite the talk of the town. Although it hasn’t made its public debut, Malaysians can still be a big part of its growing up by pitching ideas for its name via a national naming contest.
The Star Online quoted Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar as saying that the name must take into consideration any China sensitives because the ministry and Zoo Negara will have to obtain consent from China before approving a name.
“Of course, we do not want to name it Ahmad, Ah Beng or Phua Chu Kang,” he quipped.
Details of the contest, which would last 2 months, would be announced via the ministry’s website. Wan Junaidi added that they had yet to decide on the prize but announcement of the contest would be made soon.
As for when the public will be allowed to see the panda, Wan Junaidi revealed that he has not even seen it himself. He also said that public viewing would not be so soon as the ministry did not want to affect the cub’s growth. The ministry and Zoo Negara also has to take into consideration Liang Liang’s condition, as she has to be willing to let go of the baby for it to be allowed public viewing.
In 2012, Malaysia and China signed an agreement for 2 giant pandas to be loaned to Kuala Lumpur for 10 years. The pandas from Chengdu, China, would not only give Malaysia an opportunity to conduct panda-related conversation research but also mark Malaysia and China’s 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
Both pandas (one male and one female), which were later named Xing Xing and Liang Liang, arrived on 21st May 2014.
Liang Liang gave birth to the panda cub on 18th August, which weighed 175gm. Recent press reports said the cub now weighed 5kg. It will be returned to China after its 2nd birthday.
Source: The Star Online.