Feb 25 2012

Putrajaya: Malaysia’s other capital city

Published by at 12:12 pm under Kuala Lumpur excursions


Asked in a pub quiz what the capital of Malaysia is, most people would probably plump for Kuala Lumpur, and they would be half-right. That’s because since 1999, the official administrative centre of the country has been Putrajaya, a planned city 25 kilometres to the south. KL remains the national capital, as well as the commercial and financial hub of Malaysia.

You too can play spot the human.

You too can play spot the human.

Like many planned cities, Putrajaya has a strange, unreal air about it. The vast, empty roads and quasi-Stalinist public buildings contrast strongly to the hustle and bustle of KL. It has the distinct feel of the cult sixties TV show The Prisoner, only filled with Malay civil servants and their families.

Pyongyang without the parades.

Pyongyang without the parades.

When originally dreamed up by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, Putrajaya was meant to completely eclipse KL — a city viewed by suspicion by Malay nationalists because of its Chinese roots and liberal, cosmopolitan character. As well as being the administrative centre, Putrajaya was supposed to become the seat of parliament, and the home of foreign embassies. Quite understandably, both the MPs and diplomats have refused to move.

The end of the line.

The end of the line.

The most fitting testament to Putrajaya’s failure to live up to Mahathir’s grandiose vision is the monorail “system”. Envisaged as the city’s metro, building came to a halt after just 100 metres. Far from being overshadowed by its upstart rival, KL has gone from strength to strength over recent years, both as a place to live and to visit.

Moderately attractive in pink.

Moderately attractive in pink.

Despite all this, Putrajaya does have enough attractions to merit a visit, including the massive pink Putra Mosque (Masjid Putra), which has space for 15,000 worshippers; the city’s various bridges; and the Botanical Gardens.

Grandiose vision, abridged reality.

Grandiose vision, abridged reality.

The undoubted highlight is the lovely Putrajaya Wetlands Park, known particularly for its abundant birdlife, including a resident flock of pink flamingoes.

An undoubted highlight.

An undoubted highlight.

Unusually for Malaysia, Putrajaya is convenient to get to by public transport; KLIA Transit from KL Sentral being the speediest option, while several RapidKL buses provide a cheaper alternative. Alight at Putrajaya Sentral, from where an efficient network of local buses set off. Although Putrajaya is remarkably pedestrian-friendly (in contrast to KL), you are likely to have the pavements all to yourself, if you do choose to walk round the city.

4 responses so far

More still
» Previous post:
» Next post:

Disclaimer
Travelfish.org always pays its way. No exceptions.

Tags: , ,

Agoda logo
best price guarantee

4 Responses to “Putrajaya: Malaysia’s other capital city” ...

  1. tanyaon 25 Feb 2012 at 12:58 pm

    I always gawk at Putrajaya from the train on the way into KL because it looks so artificial, but have never actually stopped there. I’ll have to explore next time. Nice photos, too!

  2. Kateon 25 Feb 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Like Canberra :-)

  3. Miss Lunaon 08 Apr 2013 at 7:47 am

    FYI, KL remain Malaysia’s capital city
    while Putrajaya is only Federal Administrative Centre

    i feel annoyed reading your racist and negative elaboration of this city..

    “Like many planned cities, Putrajaya has a strange, unreal air about it. The vast, empty roads and quasi-Stalinist public buildings contrast strongly to the hustle and bustle of KL. It has the distinct feel of the cult sixties TV show The Prisoner, only filled with Malay civil servants and their families.”

    “When originally dreamed up by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, Putrajaya was meant to completely eclipse KL — a city viewed by suspicion by Malay nationalists because of its Chinese roots and liberal, cosmopolitan character. As well as being the administrative centre, Putrajaya was supposed to become the seat of parliament, and the home of foreign embassies. Quite understandably, both the MPs and diplomats have refused to move.”

    “Unusually for Malaysia, Putrajaya is convenient to get to by public transport;”

    tq for your effort in promoting this city
    but, pls make your facts right before you tell the wholewideworld

  4. Nik Refuseon 08 Apr 2013 at 9:28 am

    Having a political system where for six decades the main coalition partners (UMNO, MCA and MIC) are only open to members of one race is racist. Only allowing members of one race (Malay) and party (UMNO) to be prime minister is racist. Having an economic system which discriminates in favour of Malays, at the expense of all other Malaysians, is racist. Describing Putrajaya in a negative light is not racist, it is an expression of opinion, and one which most people who have been to that ugly, soulless, white elephant of a city, would agree with. Just because you do not agree with other people’s opinions, does not give you the right to call other people racist.

Leave a Reply