China-Malaysia Friendship Garden Remains Permanent Componenet of Anjung Floria
The 8th Royal FLORIA Putrajaya Flower and Garden Festival 2015 organised by Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) with the support of The Ministry of Federal Territories (KWP), reached a historic milestone with the official opening of the Malaysia-China Friendship Garden, a Lingnan-styled garden complete with distinctive Chinese elements and character, as a permanent component of Anjung Floria.
In cherishing a lasting and monumental friendship between Malaysia and China started since the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah during the Malacca Sultanate, the warm and cordial relationship has been strengthened with the setting up of a replicate China-Malaysia Friendship Garden in Dongguan City Prefecture to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia since the last visit of Tun Abdul Razak, the second Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The garden in Dongguan is named Zhi Yuan. “Zhi” means acquaintance or friend, while “Yuan” takes a symbolic meaning as an alluring landscape of a meeting point, embodying the concept of “one view, same direction”.
The development of the Lingnan-styled garden at Anjung Floria is reminiscent of the innovative approach adopted by PPj in adding to the variety of components at Royal FLORIA Flower and Garden Festival as a pull factor for visitors. It also reflects the initiative taken by PPj to position Royal FLORIA at par as an international flower and garden festival.
This inaugural Friendship Garden was developed in collaboration with the Malaysia-China Friendship Association (PPMC) who had proposed the original idea to build the garden. Subsequently, with endorsement from the Chinese government, the development of the garden was completed in early September 2014 in cooperation with the Dongguan People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.
At the onset, a brief but meaningful ground breaking ceremony was co-officiated by Mr.Hu Chunhua, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Party Secretary Of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee and Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr.) Aseh Hj Che Mat, President of Putrajaya Corporation on 20th April 2014. In a symbolic gesture to the diplomatic relation, understanding and friendship among the people of China and Malaysia, Mr Hu and Tan Sri Aseh planted two saplings of Michelia alba or white cempaka. Both plants are flourishing in the garden today as testament to the spirit of the friendship garden. Michelia alba is the official flower of Dongguan.
The 0.6 acre (0.24 hectare) Malaysia-China Friendship Garden was officially opened by Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Utama Tengku Adnan bin Tengku Mansor, the Minister of Federal Territories at a ceremony during the 8th Royal FLORIA Putrajaya 2015 Flower and Garden Festival on June 2, 2015. The opening ceremony was graced by dignitaries from China and Malaysia including His Excellency Dr. Huang Huikang, Ambassador of China to Malaysia, Mr Yang Xiaotang, Deputy Mayor, Dongguan City Prefecture dan YBhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr.) Aseh b. Hj Che Mat, President of Putrajaya Corporatiom.
In his speech to officiate the opening of the friendship garden, Datuk Seri Utama Tengku Adnan said, “the Malaysia-China Friendship Garden is not just a symbol of the bilateral relationship between Malaysia and China that has existed for 41 years, it can be utilised as a focal point for the cultures of both countries.”
The opening ceremony also saw the signing of a Letter of Intent for Cultural Exchange between Putrajaya and Dongguan, with Tan Sri Aseh signing on behalf of PPj dan Mr Yang Xiaotang signing on behalf of Dongguan City Prefecture, witnessed by Datuk Seri Utama Tengku Adnan. This collaboration is expected to pave the way for increased exchanges in relations to culture, tourism, economy dan trade especially between Putrajaya, Guangdong Province dan Dongguan City Prefecture.
The Malaysia-China Friendship Association (PPMC) is a NGO formed in 1992 with the aim to increase the friendship and deepen the understanding between the people of Malaysia and China. Towards this end PPMC has spearheaded many programmes to improve bilateral realtions on culture, education, youth and sports, tourism and economy.
Currently, about 30 Malaysian companies have invested in Dongguan City Prefecture with total trade volume exceeding US$3.07 billion. ASEAN member nations have become the third largest trading partner and the second biggest investor in the city prefecture.
Themed ‘Tapestry of Hues’ and featuring lilies as the festival flower, Royal FLORIA Putrajaya 2015 Flower and Garden Festival is Malaysia’s very own international flower and garden festival hosted by Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) and supported by the Ministry of Federal Territories and Tourism Malaysia and promises an exhibition of lilies in specially designed and landscaped gardens and exhibits aimed to delight the visual palates of visitors. The festival is managed by PPj’s wholly owned subsidiary, Putrajaya Floria Sdn Bhd.