Aping panda diplomacy?

Primate problem: According to WWF-Malaysia, the orangutan is critically endangered, which means the species face a very high risk of extinction in the wild if its population decline continues. — MAZIDI GHANI/WWF-Malaysia

MORE than 10 years ago, a proposal was submitted to the government on China’s offer to loan a pair of pandas to Malaysia. It was part of Beijing’s panda diplomacy and also coincided with 40 years of diplomatic relations with Malaysia then.

It was accepted almost immediately by Putrajaya. Malaysians were excited at the prospect of seeing the giant pandas in their own backyard, in Zoo Negara. There was a long queue to see Xing Xing and Liang Liang in the RM25mil airconditioned Giant Panda Conservation Centre specially built for them. Malaysia’s weather is too hot for pandas to handle.

Start your ads-free experience now!

Monthly Plan


Annual Plan


Billed as RM148.00/year

1 month

Free Trial

For new subscribers only

Cancel anytime. No ads. Auto-renewal. Unlimited access to the web and app. Personalised features. Members rewards.
Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Next In Columnists

Too late, there’s no escaping plastic
Comprehensive education reforms needed, says G25
What went wrong for Modi?
Euro 2024 closes in on England’s redemption and Italy’s defence
A case of island mentality
Paving climate justice: China's GDI framework for inclusive development
Can hypospadias affect one’s reproductive life?
Law and order
What the world needs now
Understanding SAM’s role in registering the joys and agonies of Malaysian sports

Others Also Read