Preparations in full swing to receive pandas on loan

NANNING, China - Preparations for the arrival of the two pandas to Malaysia have been going on smoothly, said Malaysian Ambassador to China Datuk Iskandar Sarudin.

He said Malaysia would have to ensure that the living environment was conducive for the baby pandas and the food was safe for consumption, besides the setting-up of other facilities before the pandas were sent to the country.

"We have to be well prepared. When all the preparations are completed, then the Chinese side will have to be satisfied with our efforts," he said ahead of Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's official visit here in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region for the 9th China-Asean Expo tomorrow.

Iskandar said the pandas were regarded as very special animals for the people of China and that the country had loaned its pandas to only a select few countries and regions.

He said the animals, with only about 1,600 left, lived in only three provinces in China offering ideal conditions for the survival of the animal.

"The year 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations. We will work on getting ourselves ready to receive the pandas as part of the climax of the anniversary celebrations," he said.

In June, the Malaysian Government and China Wildlife Conservation Association ink-ed a deal paving the way for the lease of a pair of pandas to Malaysia for a period of 10 years.

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