PUTRAJAYA – The name of the giant panda cub that was born last Oct 18 will be announced during a special ceremony at the National Zoo Giant Panda Conservation Centre middle of next month.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said nine names had been shortlisted from 104 entries in the final screening by three Mandarin language professional judges.
He said the list of nine names would be disclosed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and subsquently submitted to the government of China for approval soon.
“If the government of China finds that the name is appropriate and has good meaning based on the country’s history, only then will the name be brought to the cabinet meeting for one name to be chosen,” he told reporters after the handing over of sponsorship prizes for the giant panda cub naming contest here today.
The female panda, Liang-Liang, gave birth to a cub last Aug 18 making Malaysia the first country in the world where a panda cub was born naturally in captivity within 15 months after being loaned from China.
Liang Liang and a male panda Xing Xing on loan from Beijing for 10 years, arrived in the country in May 21, 2014 as a symbol of 40 years of diplomatic ties between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.
Wan Junaidi said the female panda cub weighs 12.5 kg at present.
On the one-month long contest, which started on Nov 17, he said his ministry received 22,830 entries and shortlisted by the jury, comprising lecturers and chief editors of local Chinese newspapers. – BERNAMA