KUALA LUMPUR: Naming a panda is serious business, entailing a sifting process that involves the governments of two countries.
That's why the cub born in Zoo Negara on Aug 18 last year has yet to be named.
However, we won't have to wait much longer.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the cub is expected to be named by the end of next month.
Fifteen names have been shortlisted from the 22,830 entries received for the "Name the Giant Panda Cub" contest which ran from Nov 17 to Dec 17 last year, he said.
He added that the shortlisting followed "expert analysis" of all the suggested names.
Wan Junaidi said the shortlist, which he received on Wednesday, would be submitted to Chinese authorities in the next few days for their approval.
"When they get back to us, my ministry will choose what we think is the best name from the approved list. I will then propose it to the Cabinet," he said.
The cub is the offspring of a pair of giant pandas, Xing Xing and Liang Liang, that Malaysia received on loan from China on May 21, 2014 to mark the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.
A Perodua Myvi worth RM50,000 awaits the winner of the contest.
But his or her greatest reward will surely be the distinction of being the one to name the panda. – Bernama