Putrajaya, the new Federal Administrative Centre and the latest Federal Territory as of 1st of February 2001 is the most majestic and impressive city in Malaysia.
Covering 4,581hectares, it is located 25 kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur and 20 kilometres north of the KL International Airport in Sepang. When fully completed it will be the exemplary Malaysian city of the new millennium.
The idea for Putrajaya was mooted out of a need to enhance Kuala Lumpur's viability as a premier business centre. So, the idea is, by relocating the federal administration to a new place, it is hoped that Kuala Lumpur's urban environment and the quality of life will improve.
In 1994, Prang Besar was renamed Putrajaya in honour of Malaysia's first'Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj. The Government approved the Putrajaya Master Plan the same year - agreeing that the city's concept would follow Islamic principles which emphasise the inextricable link between God,Man and environment.
Local Expertise and Perfect Concept
Putrajaya is planned, designed and built by Malaysians. Foreign expertise is minimal and only confined to technology transfer, or where there weren't any local experts in the area. Where applicable, most of the materials used for the buildings are sourced locally. This is especially true of the other structures besides the Prime Minister's Department and the Putra Mosque.
Being the pride of the nation, much like the other wonders of the world, Putrajaya is more than an area to house the administrative centre of the federal government. In realising the project, Malaysia is allowed an opportunity to plan and execute the most ideal development concepts - concepts that are balanced,sustainable as well as economically, spiritually and environmentally friendly. It showcases the best of Malaysian contemporary living.
As a part of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), offices in Putrajaya are fully wired with state-of-the art Information and Communications Technology to provide better public services that fulfils the needs of the new millennium.
Built for posterity, Putrajaya heralds a new beginning for Malaysia. As the appropriate source of national pride and independence, it is fully devoid of colonial heritage, which is inherent in most of the buildings in Kuala Lumpur. Putrajaya's unique architecture that incorporates Islamic and local themes is fully Malaysian.
As the new seat of government, Putrajaya will house all federal ministries, departments and agencies. In spite of this, it will still allow Kuala Lumpur the privilege of continuing its status as the capital city of Malaysia.
Unlike other similar cities, Putrajaya is more than a bureaucratic core for the country. It also offers perfectly planned residential and commercial areas amidst a pleasing natural environment. The residential area goes more than a step ahead in offering a different living concept - it is fenceless.
The presence of many gazebos, plazas and shelters is to stimulate a sense of community among the residents, although in all practicality it would require a new mindset as the current city lifestyle in Malaysia has made neighbourliness almost a lost word. Such enhancement to a basic idea is based on the experiences of cities such as Canberra and Brasilia.
Putrajaya is a place where you can do business, work and relax. Walkways, promenades and cycle paths that meander through the well-manicured landscape and around the beautiful man-made lake make this place very people-friendly. The lake plays a prominent part in the area's overall planning as it follows the natural terrain.
Looking at the surprisingly clear water one almost forget that it is not a natural lake. Notwithstanding this, it imparts a welcoming air of tranquillity, especially in the evenings when cool breeze blow across the surface, rippling the water as darkness claims the environs. Life at Putrajaya revolves around this body of water. When fully mature and completed, it will offer facilities for canoeing, boating and even a swimming beach.
Each precinct is equipped with libraries, suraus (prayer rooms) and shops. Perhaps, some may view such a concept as being too regimented and clinical, but like all new ideas it will take time for people to get used to. What one should appreciate in this city are the conveniences that practically remove things such as traffic jams and other 'quaint' features of pedestrian Malaysian life.