Birth of third Malaysian panda cub
further strengthens ties with China

Giant pandas Feng Yi and Fu Wa, living in Malaysia as part of a 10-year loan agreement with China, are parents again when Feng Yi delivered their third cub on 31 May 2021 at 8:30 p.m. They had mated naturally on 23 February 2021.

Dr Naim Ramli, Zoo Negara Malaysia’s director of Zoology, Hospital & Veterinarian Service and Giant Panda Conservation Centre, managed to take the cub from Feng Yi the next morning for a quick check-up which found that the cub weighs 140g, but was unable to determine the cub’s sex yet.

As with all panda news, this has been widely reported in the media, following the release of a statement by the Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks. At least two media sites (one each from Malaysia and China) provided an additional piece of important information.

What is this info?

Malaysia’s third giant panda cub was born on the day China and Malaysia established diplomatic relations 47 years ago.

Extract from info display in lobby of panda complex ZNM

Coincidence or a mama’s intuition to help further strengthen good relations between her birth country and host country? Given that she’s my adopted panda, I’d like to think the latter.

It was back in late May 1974 when the late YAB Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, second prime minister of Malaysia, had led a trade delegation to China. Three days of discussion, some at the highest level, led to the signing of a bilateral diplomatic relations agreement on 31 May 1974. On his return to Malaysia on 2 June 1974, Tun Razak held a press conference at the airport which was telecast “live” on national television. I remember watching with my family and cheering when he announced a public holiday the next day to celebrate the success of the trip. To me, the public holiday meant no school the next day! (Sorry for digressing … )

The China-Malaysia giant panda loan agreement was signed in June 2012. Fu Wa and Feng Yi arrived in Malaysia on 21 May 2014 as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations that year.

Feng Yi’s third cub is the first overseas giant panda cub to be born this year. The birth has brought some much needed cheer to Malaysia in these otherwise dark times filled with sad and scary pandemic news. I’m sure many panda fans, both local and worldwide, are looking forward to more news about our cub #3. For sure, there will be nicknames until the official name is announced. Do I have a nickname for the little one? Sure! It came to me when I was posting the birth news on an FB group centred around the Taipei Zoo pandas.

My nickname for Malaysia’ third panda cub?

熊小三 Xiong Xiao San (Little panda #3)

News links


“Third giant panda cub born in Malaysia” (Xinhuanet)