Capital movement

Well-planned city of Putrajaya is both beautiful and efficient

The Putra Mosque in Malaysia's administrative capital, Putrajaya. The city is home to dome-topped buildings, man-made lakes and broad avenues. While critics once called Putrajaya a waste of money, many of its 88,000 residents - most of whom are civil
The Putra Mosque in Malaysia's administrative capital, Putrajaya. The city is home to dome-topped buildings, man-made lakes and broad avenues. While critics once called Putrajaya a waste of money, many of its 88,000 residents - most of whom are civil servants - are happy with its laid-back lifestyle. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Indonesia last week announced its choice of East Kalimantan as the site for its new administrative centre to relieve the strain on Jakarta. The Sunday Times looks at the experiences of Malaysia and Australia in creating new capitals.

When the idea of Putrajaya as Malaysia's administrative capital first came up in the 1980s, critics labelled it as a costly monument that then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had wanted built to showcase his achievements in office.

But he rebutted the claims, saying: "We build things we can use and it is meant for the government of the future, maybe 100 years, 300 years, 1,000 years."

Please or to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM.

Enjoy unlimited access to ST's best work

  • Exclusive stories and features on multiple devices
  • In-depth analyses and opinion pieces
  • ePaper and award-winning multimedia content
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 01, 2019, with the headline 'Well-planned city is both beautiful and efficient'. Print Edition | Subscribe