Panda-mania at Dataran Merdeka

Panda-mania at Dataran Merdeka

KUALA LUMPUR - The city's iconic landmark, Dataran Merdeka, was overrun with 1,600 pandas - papier mache recreations of the adorable monochromatic creatures - that is.

Malaysians welcomed the pandas, which were making their stop here in an unique campaign to raise awareness on the endangered species.

This is their third stop in Asia after Hong Kong and Taiwan in a world tour themed "Initiating the Culture of Creative Conservation".

The public will also have a chance to see the pandas in other states as they will be journeying to over 15 iconic locations nationwide, including Batu Caves, the Stadthuys in Malacca, the leaning tower of Teluk Intan and Taiping Lake, and Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion in Penang from yesterday until Jan 25.

In his speech, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Mah Siew Keong said the event had a meaningful cause of raising awareness and educating the public on pandas.

"This showcase will help us improve our civic consciousness on the issue. The private sector, NGOs and the Government must work together in this effort," he said.

The 1,600 Pandas World Tour started in 2008 as a collaboration between French sculptor Paulo Grangeon and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

The number 1,600 was chosen as it represented the number of pandas left in the wild that year and Grangeon had created the pandas using the papier mache technique.

The pandas have since made appearances in France, Holland, Italy, Germany and Switzerland.

Visit 1600 Pandas MY on Facebook for more info.

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