Cyberjaya, Putrajaya, Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam


Cyberjaya is spacious, well-planned, and looks like it would be right at home in the midst of Sunnyvale, Mountain View, or Palo Alto. However, all is not lost. As befitting a city with "cyber" in its name, Cyberjaya is home to the most auspiciously-named Multimedia University:

Multimedia University is in fact a perfectly fine and reputable institution; it's just had the misfortune to be saddled with a buzzword for a name. I have heard it said that this name will be completely archaic within five years. I disagree; it's completely archaic already. Perhaps they could rename it "Convergence University". This name would also be out of date within six months (as at November 2002) and have to be replaced, but that's a Feature, not a Bug. This is in fact a recurring opportunity to reinvent and reorient themselves to better take advantage of transient conditions and facilitate rather than hinder change, in accordance with modern principles of corporate marketing and governance. Or something.


Putrajaya is another spacious, well-planned town. It also has some superb examples of architecture, which on occasion seem to have been more than a little inspired by the Modern Soviet school of monumental design. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. Here's a view across the lake to the Masjid Putra (Putra Mosque) and the Perdana Putra building, housing the Prime Minister's office.

Here are some closeups from various angles across the plaza. First, the mosque. It's very big.
The Prime Minister's office. It's very big.
And an office complex. It's very big.

This complex houses the public servants from the PM's Department. I'm not entirely sure why they can't fit into the PM's own building (see above). Maybe he has a lot of public servants. Or maybe the PM is just himself very big.

And here's the interior of the Putra mosque, which really is a very beautiful building.

Shah Alam

Speaking of monumental design, the Blue Mosque in Shah Alam is the biggest mosque in the country, with a dome bigger than that of St Paul's Cathedral in London. The Jawi (Arabic) script on the walls of the dome is in fact verses from the Koran. Despite its size, it's a very elegant and beautiful building, and does not look at all like a grounded mothership, so put that thought right out of your mind.

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