Putrajaya is a planned city, located 25 km south of
Kuala Lumpur, that serves as the federal
administrative centre of Malaysia. The seat of government was shifted in
1999 from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya, due to
the overcrowding and congestion in the
Kuala Lumpur areas. Nevertheless,
remains Malaysia's national capital, being the seat of the King and
Parliament, as well as the country's commercial and financial centre.
Putrajaya was the brainchild of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir
Mohammad. In 2001, Putrajaya became Malaysia's third Federal Territory
after Kuala Lumpur and
Named after the first Malaysian Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra,
the city is situated within the Multimedia Super Corridor, beside the also
newly developed Cyberjaya. In Malay/Sanskrit, the words "putra" or "putera"
means "prince", and "jaya" means "success" or "victory". The development
of Putrajaya started in early 1990s, and today major landmarks are
completed and the population is expected to grow bigger by the days.
The vision to have a new Federal Government Administrative Centre to
replace Kuala Lumpur as the administrative
capital emerged in the late 1980s, during the tenure of Malaysia's 4th
Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad. The new city was proposed to be
located between Kuala Lumpur and the new
International Airport (KLIA).
The Federal government negotiated with the state of
Selangor on the prospect of another Federal Territory and in the
mid-1990s, the Federal government paid a substantial amount of money to
Selangor for approximately 11,320 acres (45.8
km2) of land in Prang Besar, Selangor. As a
result of this land purchase, the state of
now completely surrounds two Federal Territories within its borders,
namely Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
Planned as a garden and intelligent city, 38% of the area is reserved for
green spaces by emphasising the enhancement of natural landscape. A
network of open spaces and wide boulevards were incorporated to the plan.
Construction began in August 1995 and it was Malaysia's biggest project
and one of Southeast Asia's largest with estimated final cost of US$ 8.1
billion. The entire project was designed and constructed by Malaysian
companies with only 10% of the materials imported.
The Asian Financial Crisis of 1997/1998 had somewhat slowed the
development of Putrajaya. In 1999, 300 staff members of the Prime
Minister's office moved to Putrajaya and the remaining government servants
moved in 2005. On 1 February 2001 Tun Dr. Mahathir declared Putrajaya as a
Federal Territory with the ceremony of handing over Putrajaya township
from the Selangor state authorities.
In 2002, a high speed rail link called
KLIA Transit was opened, linking Putrajaya to both Kuala Lumpur and
International Airport in Sepang. However, construction of the Putrajaya
Monorail which was intended to be the city's metro system, was suspended
due to costs. One of the monorail suspension bridges in Putrajaya remains