Archives for Malaysia

An attractive government city: Kuala Lumpur’s Putrajaya

It’s hard to imagine government buildings being interesting but Malaysia’s administrative centre at Putrajaya about 30 minutes outside Kuala Lumpur certainly is proof to the contrary. Putrajaya is a planned city and government shifted there in 1999 after downtown KL became too crowded. However Kuala Lumpur is still Malaysia’s capital. It is home to the King and Parliament, as well as being the country’s commercial and financial centre. In Putrajaya every government agency makes a solid statement with its own building with its own style. No expense has been spared in this strenuous assertion of Malaysian prosperity and prestige as a nation. In Sanskrit, “putra” means “prince” or “male child”, and “jaya” means “success” or “victory”. The architectural parallels with foreign capitals are unmistakeable. The centrepiece is the seven kilometre boulevard leading to the palace like structure entirely devoted to the offices of the Prime Minister. At the other end of the boulevard is the convention centre designed to look like a space ship where the government hosts large international delegations. The grandeur of the architecture recalls Paris and Washington, with the
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