Tam Tam and Wu Wu are to be the “civil nicknames” of set of newborn panda twins after an online voting event was held over the past week by Macau Concealers, a satirical publication in Macau.

Baby pandas Tam Tam and Wu Wu. Photos: Macau Concealers.

Individually, “Tam” means greed and “Wu” means dirty. “Tam Wu” together means corruption in Cantonese. The names received 561 votes out of 1,024 votes cast.

‘Illusion of civic participation’ 

The baby pandas’ parents, Hoi Hoi and Sum Sum, were named after the government held an official public poll. Macau Concealers President Jason Chao Teng-hei, told reporters that “the panda naming procedure is in regression” as no contest was held to christen the newborns.

Although the name options for the parents were pre-approved, “the process was still relatively representative and involved a civic element,” he said.

“During the seven-day period of the online polling, Macau Concealers’s website sustained a DDoS attack that lasted for two days,” Chao said. However, polling was unaffected as it was hosted on a separate server with “civic referendum level security.”

Jason Chao Teng-hei announces the selected panda nicknames at a press conference. Photo: Macau Concealers.

New Macau Association, the parent association of Macau Concealers, warned citizens that the naming process “may be an attempt to construct an illusion of civic participation.”

Chao said the impact of the poll would be measured by whether Macanese people use the unofficial names or the official ones, when they are announced.

Hoi Hoi and Sum Sum gave birth to the twins on June 6, 2016.

Correction 16/9: A previous version of this article stated that Macau Concealers was a publication set up by students from the University of Macau. In fact, the founders have now graduated.

Stanley Leung

Stanley is a Media and Communications graduate from Goldsmiths College in London. He takes particular interest in visual journalism, having produced photographic and video work on a number of social and political issues. He has also interned at the current affairs service of RTHK’s TV division.