Sealed - deal on pandas

PUTRAJAYA: The agreement that will see Malaysia play host to a pair of pandas for 10 years has been inked.

The agreement is between the China Wild-life Conservation Association (CWCA) and Malaysia's Wildlife and National Parks Department.

The signing ceremony was held at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday and witnessed by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and He Guoqiang, the secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

He and the Chinese delegation arrived on Thursday and had earlier paid a courtesy call on Najib.

Wildlife and National Parks director-general Datuk Abd Rasid Samsudin signed for the department while CWCA was represented by its secretary-general Zang Chunlin.

Two other agreements were also signed, in­­volving the cooperation to develop a Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park in Kuantan and the letter of intent on economic partnership between Kuantan and Qinzhou cities.

Najib said he chose pandas as the symbol of the strong relationship between Malaysia and China as the animal could be easily identified.

"I wanted a symbol of our relationship which the ordinary people could identify with and I can't think of a better idea than having a pair of pandas in this country.

"Pandas are very much loved, a very affable animal and appreciated not only by the Chinese but by the whole world.

"Their presence in Malaysia will certainly be a special attraction to Malaysians and visitors alike," said the Prime Minister.

Najib said the pandas would be placed in a botanical garden in the Wetlands Park here.

"We look forward to receiving the pandas and I am sure they will be a great hit in Malaysia and we will be able to generate income from the presence of the pandas in the country," he said, adding that Yayasan 1MDB would contribute half the cost of the construction of the facilities to house the pandas.

Later in Kuala Lumpur, Najib said political revolution alone would not be able to meet the objectives of an uprising.

The Prime Minister said it would have to come with social and mindset revolutions for greater and a more meaningful impact.

"What is a revolution that is made under the banner of struggle and freedom if it does not benefit the people," the Prime Minister said in his keynote address at the International seminar on Fiqh.

Najib said leadership quality did not only depend on the leaders but also on followers, adding that leaders must be open, willing to be criticised and change negative perception that could affect the people's prosperity.

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