Siti Zubaidah Zakaria (left) and Siti Zakiah Zakaria taking a ‘selfie’ with the 1,600 pandas in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad building in Dataran Merdeka.
KUALA LUMPUR: Visitors and tourists to Dataran Merdeka on Sunday were pleasantly surprised to find 1,600 pandas placed in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.
The pandas are art models in various poses put on display on the road as a symbol of the estimated number of real animals still surviving in the world in their natural habitat.
The exhibition is the famed '1600 Panda World Tour' series currently on a stop-over in Malaysia until January 2015 to create awareness on the threat to panda extinction.
The event was launched by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Mah Siew Keong, who said the tour would stop at 15 locations in Malaysia including Dataran Putrajaya, Batu Caves in Selangor, the Teluk Intan Leaning Tower in Perak and the Stadthuys in Malacca.
Mah said such event could instill public awareness especially among the younger generation on the environmental conservation and animal welfare in a creative and artistic approach.
"You can see that young people are so interested in today's event and I'm very happy to know that the roadshow will involve other iconic locations in the country," Mah said, alluding to the presence of youths at the event who were seen taking pictures or 'selfies' with the panda sculptures.
According to the tour organiser in Malaysia, Faster Advertising Group, the event began in 2008 with the cooperation the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and renowned French scupltor, Paulo Grangeon.
Since then, the paper mache pandas have been displayed at several locations such as France, Holland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Malaysia is the third location to display the 1,600 pandas in Asia.
Members of the public could adopt one of the 1,600 model pandas at RM150 a unit starting from Jan 12.
- Source: Bernama