SEPANG: The newly-arrived pair of giant pandas from China will have new names soon, which will be announced by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during the official opening of their enclosure in Zoo Negara at the end of June.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said the names have been discussed by Prime Minister and the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang.
"He (Najib) himself will announce the names when visiting the National Zoo later," he told the media after receiving the pandas at Kompleks MASKargo, Complex, KL International Airport on Wednesday.
The pair are currently named Fu Wa and Feng Yi, and their arrival marks 40 years of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China.
They arrived in Malaysia at 7.53am after they were flown via a special MASKargo Airbus 330-200 MH6462 from Chengdu, China.
The pandas were then taken directly to the National Zoo, where they will be quarantined for a month.
The pair were lent to the National Zoo by the Chinese government for 10 years via the Giant Panda International Conservation Cooperation Agreement.
Via the agreement signed in 2012, Malaysia will carry out conservation research on the giant pandas as well as develop and train local experts.
Palanivel said the arrival of the pandas was expected to attract more visitors to the National Zoo.
Meanwhile, Huang said the giant pandas, which were received with warmest welcome to their second home in Malaysia, would have a happy time over the next ten years. - Bernama