In sign of warming ties, China to loan two pandas to Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 — China will place two of the country’s iconic pandas here to commemorate four decades of diplomatic ties with Malaysia, according to a report by The Star today.
According to the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, the two pandas will be cared for jointly by the China Wildlife Conservation Association and Malaysia.
The partnership would allow Malaysia to contribute towards panda conservation research as well as signify balmy ties between the two countries, the ministry said in its statement today.
During the 10-year loan duration, the two animals will be housed in a special enclosure in Taman Wetland, Putrajaya.
A contest will also be held for the public to name the two animals.
Diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia were first fostered during the era of Tun Abdul Razak, the country’s second prime minister and father to current PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Najib’s predecessor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, had also been keen on the so-called “panda diplomacy” — the centuries-old Chinese practice of gifting pandas to friendly states — as he was privy to the symbolism the creatures would hold for the local Chinese community.