Sunday, June 18, 2006


Since this morning was (somewhat) free I decided to explore the location a bit. Putrajaya was created (or perhaps I should say is being created, as works are still in progress) as an administrative city (with the aim of being a paperless government - real e-government) located within Malaysia's much touted MSC (Multimedia Super Corridor), and apparently will become the new capital city in due course. There are a couple of grand hotels in the area, one of which is the conference hotel, the Marriott Putrajaya located within the IOI Resort campus. There was a shopping centre not far from the hotel which was open so I decided to go visit. Enroute, the helpful driver did a quick tour of the city and its grandiose buildings. Apparently most of the buildings are modelled after other buildings around the (mainly Islamic) world which is all quite interesting. The Prime Minister's offices are a bit of a visual feast as is the Putrajaya International Convetion Centre (or the cowboy hat as some locals call it). The city is highly planned and very surgical in its layout. The nice bit is the surrounding greenery as there has been emphasis in maintaining an environmentally friendly theme. There is still a lot of work progressing, particularly landscaping and it would be interesting to come back in say 3 years time to see how this has turned out. Putrajaya is roughly half-way between KLIA and KL and the locals are essentially all Government employees, who apparently have allocated housing depending on their rank. The King also has a palace retreat in Putrajaya "but only about 12 rooms" according to the driver. There is also a grand mosque near the city centre, visitors can walk around it but access to the main prayer hall is only for those who practice the religion. I also plan to visit some of the MSC facilities later this week, but more on that later.

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