Nation’s model administrative capital turns 25

Over the years, Putrajaya has evolved into a model administrative centre and is on par with its counterparts such as Australia’s Canberra, Turkey’s Ankara and South Korea’s Sejong

By ROHANI MOHD IBRAHIM / Pics MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

AUG 29 marks Putrajaya’s 25th anniversary as Malaysia’s federal administrative centre.

Putrajaya’s garden city concept, coupled with its wide roads and majestic buildings dominated by Malay and Moorish Islamic architecture, attracts local and international tourists who are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding Instagram-worthy photo opportunities.

This well-planned modern city, which spans over 5,000ha of land previously planted with oil palm, was launched as the nation’s administrative capital on Aug 29, 1995. It became Malaysia’s third federal territory on Feb 1, 2001.

Putra Mosque’s design is inspired by Persian Islamic architecture (Pic by Muhd Amin Naharul/TMR)

Over the years, Putrajaya has evolved into a model administrative centre and is on par with its counterparts such as Canberra in Australia, Ankara in Turkey and Sejong in South Korea.

Named in honour of the nation’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, Putrajaya today houses 23 ministries and nearly 100 government agencies, and has a population of 110,000.

The task of keeping the seat of the government’s administrative machinery well-oiled and running smoothly lies in the hands Putrajaya Corp.

One of the challenges it faces is ensuring that all the government offices are operating without a hitch, said Putrajaya Corp president Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim.

“We make sure that there’s no compromise when it comes to the smooth operations of all the ministries and government agencies located in Putrajaya,” he told Bernama, adding that the buildings are maintained regularly by the corporation’s Engineering Department.

Famous Landmarks

Aminuddin also revealed that Indonesian government officials have sought guidance from Malaysia for their proposed new administrative capital in East Kalimantan.

“Indonesia wants to learn how Malaysia developed Putrajaya from ground zero to become the smart city it is today,” he said, adding that Indonesia feels that what works for Malaysia will also work for the republic as both nations have a lot of things in common.

He added that Putrajaya is also a very popular destination for Muslim tourists, particularly Indonesians.

It is usual for pilgrims from Indonesia on their way to Saudi Arabia to make a stop at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to visit the two mosques that have become landmarks of Putrajaya — Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque and Putra Mosque whose design is inspired by Persian Islamic architecture.

On future projects to take shape in Putrajaya, Aminuddin said a Quran village and

Islamic interactive theme park are in the works. And, in line with Putrajaya’s aspirations to be a centre of excellence for sports, futuristic football and rugby stadiums will be built, he added.

Putrajaya Through the Eyes of A Foreigner

The man-made lake (Putrajaya Lake) is so scenic, and so are the buildings (source smart.putrajaya.my)

Meanwhile, Siti Aisyah Samu’i, an Indonesian journalist attached to Jawa Pos — a national daily newspaper based in Surabaya, East Java — stayed in Putrajaya for two weeks early this year to write a series of weekly articles on Malaysia’s administrative capital. Her articles appeared in Jawa Pos between mid-January and June.

In an email interview with Bernama, Siti Aisyah, 36, said she found Putrajaya neat and very well planned, and hoped that Indonesia’s new administrative centre would emulate its style.

“The man-made lake (Putrajaya Lake) is so scenic, and so are the buildings. In fact, it is worth taking photos in any part (of this city),” she said.

In one of her articles, she wrote: “The design and architecture of the buildings in Putrajaya, including the government offices, make it a haven for those who love taking photographs. And there are also beautiful bridges and gardens.

“I also noticed many couples doing pre-wedding photoshoots against the backdrop of Putrajaya’s unique landscape.”

Commenting on the magnificent Astaka Morocco or Moroccan Pavilion located near the Putrajaya Botanical Gardens, Siti Aisyah said its Moorish architecture and grandeur transported her to Morocco.

Pointing to Putrajaya’s fenceless and gateless precincts where its residents live and interact closely, she said she is amazed at how the modern city managed to retain its eastern cultural values amid the rapid pace of development.

Putrajaya, meanwhile, has planned a series of activities to celebrate its 25th anniversary, but they have been postponed to next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. — Bernama