Malaysia began its search for a new administrative centre in the 1980s to provide a more balanced development away from Kuala Lumpur. A site in the southern Prang Besar district was chosen, and in 1995 the project, named after the country’s first Prime Minister, YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj, was launched. Construction for Malaysia’s biggest ever real-estate project began in August 1995, with a target completion date of 2010. The entire project has been designed and constructed by Malaysian companies, and only 10 percent of the materials has had to be imported. While Kuala Lumpur will remain as the country’s financial and commercial capital, Putrajaya will act as the new Federal Government administrative centre. Most of the Government agencies will have moved in by 2005, and when the project is completed, some 40 percent of the resident population are expected to comprise those in the private sector.
Putrajaya is a planned city, 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 overcrowding and congestion in the Kuala Lumpur area. Nevertheless, Kuala Lumpur 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 Labuan. Named after the first Malaysian Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, the city is within the Multimedia Super Corridor, beside the recently developed Cyberjaya. In Sanskrit, “putra” means “prince” or “male child”, and “jaya” means “success” or “victory”. The development of Putrajaya started in early 1990s, and today major landmarks have been completed and the population is expected to grow in the near future.
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The pink-domed Putra Mosque is constructed with rose-tinted granite and can accommodate 15,000 worshippers at any one time. The basement wall of the mosque resembles that of the King Hassan Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. The mosque consists of three main functional areas – the prayer hall, the Sahn, or courtyard, and various learning facilities and function rooms. The prayer hall is simple and elegant, supported by 12 columns. The highest point below the dome is 250 feet above ground level. The Sahn, landscaped with several decorative water features and bordered by colonnades, provides a huge yet welcoming and beautiful prayer space. Its impressive minaret is influenced by the design of the Sheikh Omar Mosque in Baghdad. At 116m, it is one of the tallest minarets in the region and has five tiers, representing the Five Pillars of Islam.
Putrajaya lake is in the heart of the administration city, and visitors can take a leisure cruise on the lake. One can view stunning vistas of the surrounding area from the cruise, including the Putrajaya Mosque, Putrajaya Bridge as well as several government administrative buildings. Visitors can opt to sail the lake on a passenger cruise boat, which is a great option in the day or spectacularly at night! The air-conditioned cruise boat also seats 76 persons comfortably, and one can see the landmarks of Putrajaya via its wrap-around glass windows.
The China-Malaysia Friendship Garden
To celebrate the good bilateral relations between Malaysia and China, the China-Malaysia Friendship Garden was built recently in Putrajaya, Malaysia’s administrative city centre. The design of the garden is in the style of the Lingnan Garden that emphasises the elements of mountain, water, stone, building, calligraphy and plants. A stroll in this serene lake-side garden will bring one to appreciate the unique flowers and plants, architecture, courtyard, pavilion and scenery, which all stand as a testimony to the long-lasting friendship between China and Malaysia.
Palace of Justice
The Istana Kehakiman or Palace of Justice is a majestic looking building, and houses the judicial department and courts. The complex comprises five- storey building for the judiciary and a two-storey building to house the courts and offices. Since the area has a large courtyard, it is often used as a venue for national level events such as Colours of Malaysia fest, and many more.
Putra Perdana is the Prime Minister’s Department Complex housing several government buildings and agencies. It is located on the main hill in Putrajaya, and was built in 1997. The buildings in the complex are incluenced by Malay, Islamic and European architecture, hence its unique look. This building has also become the icon for Putrajaya, with its distinctive green dome and clay like coloured buildings. Besides the government complexes, are also the Putra Mosque, the Dataran Putra, and Perdana Walk
Agriculture Heritage Park
Located at Precinct 16, Putrajaya. It emphasises the Malaysias agricultural background with commercial values. Visitors can sample fresh fruits and observe activities such as rubber tapping, latex collection, crop maintenance, fruits preservation and many others. Among the attractions here include the visitors’ complex, an orchard, a herbs and spices track, clonal rubber plot and viewing deck. The park also offers many agro-products for sale, while various agro-based activities and programmes are arranged for visitors all-year round
Deemed to be the most important of the bridges in Putrajaya, the 435-m concrete bridge connects the Government Precinct to the Mixed Development Precinct, with the upper level of the bridge forming part of the Boulevard, the main street in the capital.
The three-tier bridge is inspired by the Islamic architecture of the famous Khaju Bridge in Isfahan, Iran. Its magnificent attractions are the four minaret-type piers, complete with observation decks, overlooking the Putrajaya Lake. This unique bridge provides access to pedestrians, vehicles and a monorail, while its pier will be developed into a fine dining area with a place for boats to berth.
Putrajaya Botanical Garden (Taman Botani)
The biggest botanical garden in Malaysia, the Putrajaya Botanical Garden covers an area over 92 hectares. The park is divided into three sections – flowers, ornamental plants and preservation/research purposes. The garden currently has more than 700 species of flowering plants, local plants as well as plants from the Asia-Pacific and Africa regions. The area also serves as a research centre, with its multi-purpose collection. Kids will be delighted with the huge collection and exotic flowers, and educationists will be able to see many species of plants at the research centre.
The Putrajaya wetlands is also the first man-made wetland in Malaysia. The Wetland Park includes the Wetland Park (138 hectares) and the wetland areas (1977 hectares). The Wetland has an 18 metre lookout tower, plant nursery, nature trails, flamingo pond, picnic areas as well as other interesting attractions