SINGAPORE: The cub born to giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia has been named after the results of a public vote were announced on Wednesday (Dec 29).
The winning name with the highest number of votes is “Le Le” ( 叻叻). According to the public vote website, the word “Le” comes from an old Chinese term “Shi Le Po” which refers to Singapore.
"This was in use since our beginnings as a trading port. 'Shi Le Po' is a transliteration of the Malay term 'selat' which means straits, indicative of our geographical location," the website said.
Other names shortlisted for the vote were "Hong Hong" (宏宏), "Xin Le" (新乐), "Xin Yang" (新阳) and "Xin Yuan" (新缘).
More than 64,000 votes were submitted in the online poll held from Nov 3 to Nov 7 to decide the name of the first Singapore-born giant panda.
The announcement was made by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng at a virtual ceremony held after the 17th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting between Singapore and China.
In an opinion piece published in Lianhe Zaobao on Tuesday ahead of the annual JCBC meeting, Mr Heng called the birth of the panda cub “a joyous occasion” and a symbol of friendship between Singapore and China.
The cub was born on the morning of Aug 14, nine years after first-time parents Kai Kai and Jia Jia arrived in Singapore.