SEPANG: The new “Malaysian” names of the giant pandas from Chengdu will be revealed by the Prime Minister when the enclosure in Zoo Negara is opened later next month.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel told a press conference after the arrival of the pandas here yesterday that the ministry had already finalised the new names for Fu Wa and Feng Yi.
“I have discussed with the ambassador and the Prime Minister.
“He will name the pandas when he visits the zoo at the end of next month,” he said at MASkargo here.
The ministry had organised a contest last year for the public to propose suitable names for the pandas.
Palanivel said the Government had already spent over RM60mil to bring the pandas here and build the enclosure for the animals’ 10-year stay here.
“The most important thing is for us to ensure that the pandas live in a safe environment at the zoo,” he said.
China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang said the pandas “received the warmest welcome to their new home” and that the ceremony was not “low key” as claimed.
The pandas, he pointed out, had arrived before the 40th anniversary celebrations of China-Malaysia relations as planned.
“Some people are asking whether there was any delay, my answer is (that there was) no delay at all.
“Pandas Fu Wa and Feng Yi are a great symbol of our friendship and a gift from the people of China to the people of Malaysia.
“I once again emphasise that the relationship between Malaysia and China will never be affected by any unexpected incident,” he said.