Tourism Malaysia


The Chinese New Year celebration would not be complete without the family gatherings, the yee sang toss, the angpows and abundance of food. So, if you are visiting Malaysia during this time, why not get into the fanfare with delicious halal Chinese food and enjoy it with friends and family? Dive into our top picks of halal Chinese restaurants from around the Klang Valley.



Mohd Chan’s primary draw is its home-cooked Cantonese-style cuisine. Prepare to enjoy halal-approved and appetizing fare here. Today, the brand stands strong with 15 outlets to its name. That’s right, just goes to show how popular and accessible is the establishment.

In the days leading up to CNY, it’s best to pick a Mohd Chan outlet that is convenient to you and your dinner companions. Then, handpick the Cantonese dishes to crowd your table with. Go for classic teochew steamed fish, classic butter sotong, kam heong lala, salted egg chicken and four season vegetable. Right in the middle, save a spot for their famous chilli crab.




Sitting down for a dinner at Amber is the closest thing to experiencing authentic halal Chinese cuisine from Northern China. In fact, every plate is a cacophony of fresh spices and bold flavours. What’s more, the food here is masterfully orchestrated using traditional cooking techniques.

A CNY dinner at Amber does come with a big price, though. But, in return, you and your companions will enjoy a delicious dinner in a fancy atmosphere. Warm up your dinner table with a row of appetisers such as Chinese chives pancakes and sesame mochi bun. Then, enjoy their special roasted lamb, braised fish, kung pao chicken and sauteed broccoli with mushroom in between conversations. Before you bid goodbye, let the lotus seed with white fungus soup cool you down.





Fresh-tasting seafood on stainless steel dinnerware are the usual sights at Muhibbah Seafood Restaurant. A top recommendation for Chinese-Muslim food (with a twist of Thai) in Kampung Sungai Penchala, the restaurant’s spacious and clean layout makes it ideal to host a large number of CNY dinners. Take note, though, that reservations are still necessary to accompany your confidence in securing a table.

Once you’re comfortably seated, prepare to enjoy a huge and satisfying halal Chinese meal. Among the recommendations are tom yam soup, deep fried squid, steamed fish with clear Thai sauce, butter prawns, beef in black pepper and Chinese cabbage in oyster sauce. Don’t be surprised if everyone wipes their plates clean — it is just testament of how lovely the dinner was.




There’s no arguing that Golden Valley’s selection of Chinese-Muslim cuisine is delightful and enjoyable. Situated in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, this restaurant chooses to practise vibrance and simplicity in their layout and let its bold flavours to impress you.

The food here is perfect for sharing. Gather your close mates around the table and dig into favourites such as Nyonya-style steamed sea bass, lala in superior broth, marmite chicken, salad prawn, almond chicken, ginger and chicken fried rice and kong po chicken yam basket.




If there is a way to combine relaxed dining and elegant atmosphere, you will definitely find it at China Treasures. Sime Darby Convention Centre’s gift to the halal dining landscape, this restaurant is best known for their mix of traditional and contemporary Chinese cuisine.

China Treasures fans are likely to prompt you to try their dim sum buffet during off-season period, but the restaurant can add a refined touch to your CNY dinners. If you’re going ahead with the chef’s specialties, you’ll be served with beef cube with black pepper and peking duck. You’re free to explore other dishes such as butter prawns, steamed garoupa with soy sauce and egg yolk with shimeji mushroom.



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Tourism Malaysia

What You May Or May Not Know About KL’s Petronas Twin Towers

Without stating the obvious, Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers is the most photographed object in Malaysia. Soaring to a height of 451.9 metres, the 88-storey twin structure is Kuala Lumpur’s crown jewel.

Inspired by former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s vision for Malaysia to be a global economic hub, the project came to life in March 1993 under the watchful eye of master architect Cesar Pelli.

Construction of the superstructure started in April 1994 with the jacking of the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 completed in March 1996.

After some six years, 160,000 cubic metres of concrete, 83,500 square metres of steel cladding and 36,910 tonnes of steel used, on August 31, 1999, Dato Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia, officially opened the Towers.

Pelli, upon its completion, called the Twin Towers “a monument that is not specifically Malaysian, but will forever be identified with Kuala Lumpur”.

It is the world’s tallest twin towers and was the world’s tallest building from 1998 to 2004. It is now ranked 8th in the world.

The Towers are connected on the 42nd and 43rd floors by a double-decker sky bridge that stands 170 metres above street level, the highest two-storey bridge in the world.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.56.27 AMPavol Kmeto /

According to Dr. Mahathir, the building symbolises the courage, culture and advancement of the people of Malaysia, with the twin towers and sky bridge resembling the ‘M’ of Malaysia.

There are 32,000 windows, 29 double-decker high-speed passenger lifts, six heavy-duty service lifts and four executive lifts.

The executive lifts are the longest rise in any office building in Malaysia. It serves every floor from the basement car park to the top of the Towers in 90 seconds.

Apart from being an iconic tourist attraction, the tower is also a commercial hub, housing some of the world’s top companies such as Petronas, Al-Jazeera, Microsoft, Boeing and Bloomberg to name a few.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.59.05 AMKjersti Joergensen /

The Petronas Twin Towers gained immediate exposure with its appearance in the 1999 Hollywood action flick Entrapment, starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The film follows the thieves as they engage in a game of cat-and-mouse taking in iconic locations in Scotland, England and Malaysia.

In one scene, the duo sail down a murky river on the banks of slums with the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers seen in the background.

But the images of the river were filmed in Malacca, not Kuala Lumpur, and spliced with shots of the 1,482ft-high skyscrapers — displeasing then Prime Minister Mahathir and most Malaysians.

The iconic structure has also been scene to many daredevil attempts and stunts. On April 15 1999, Felix Baumgartner of the Red Bull Stratos project-fame, set the then Base jumping world record by jumping off a window cleaning crane on the Petronas Towers.

French urban climber Alain ‘Spiderman’ Robert has made many attempts to scale the Towers; stopped and arrested on his first two attempts on the 60th floor in 1997 and 2007, before succeeding on his third attempt on September 1, 2009.

If you wish to visit the Towers in a more conventional manner, entrance is free but has a daily tourist limit of 800 people. The Twin Towers remain closed on Mondays and during prayer times on Friday.

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Tourism Malaysia

Thaipusam: Carrying A Common Burden

“I am a chain smoker,” says the Kavadi maker. “Every day one packet.”

I am standing amidst piles of plywood and steel fittings, power tools on the floor and sawdust in the air, under the front porch awning of a simple terrace house on the outskirts of Banting, 45 minutes from Kuala Lumpur. Outside, in the hot afternoon sun, half completed Kavadis stand on the asphalt, some mere skeletons of steel rods and plywood, unrecognisable. This is where Kavadis—a physical burden carried by Hindus as an act of penance during the festival of Thaipusam—are made. I survey the scene before me. I had expected it to be somewhat less industrial, more mystical – perhaps an ascetic hand-crafting his creations, amid swirls of camphor smoke. But cigarette smoking is the conversation at hand. “I’m a chain smoker, but since the month of Thai began, not a single stick.”


Bala working on a Kavadi

Bala, the Kavadi maker, is referring to the Hindu month of Thai, from which the Hindu festival Thaipusam derives its name. On the day I meet him, he has not had a smoke for three weeks. Along with other Hindu devotees, Bala undergoes fasting for 48 days (the duration of a month in the Hindu calendar), abstaining from entertainment and luxury before the day-long procession that is the face of Thaipusam. Bala proudly shows me an album of newspaper clippings, where every photo or mention of his Kavadis in the press has been lovingly laminated and bound. It is a labour of love. “It’s not really about the money,” he says in a thick Tamil accent, “I help people to do their pilgrimage.”


Putting the finishing touches on a Kavadi and testing it out

A pilgrimage with different paths

I meet one of Bala’s customers during the course of my visit. K. Anuharan has come to check on the progress of his Kavadi. Wearing a thick, silver-speckled beard and a malar (sort of a Hindu rosary) around his neck, he surprises me by speaking perfect English. His Kavadi is relatively modest by current standards, but still measures over five feet in height and width, and weighs around 30 kg. Balance is the hallmark of a well-crafted Kavadi, and Anuharan is here to make sure that the Kavadi’s heft is evenly distributed across his shoulders. “As far back as I can remember, I have been joining the Thaipusam procession at Batu Caves every year.” At my disbelief, he strains to recall if he has ever missed one. “No,” he finally says. “Even now that I am staying in Australia, I will fly back every Thaipusam.”

Selva is another Hindu devotee who will carry the Kavadi this year. An engineer at an airline company based in KL and an avid marathon runner, he too has joined the procession every year since childhood. Even when he was working in Singapore during his younger days, he joined the procession in Singapore.

The Kavadi that Selva will carry is completely different from Anuharan’s. He shows me a photo of it on his phone. It is a simple wood pole, modestly embellished, which will be balanced across his shoulders. At both ends of the pole, he will hang a jar of milk, which devotees bring to the temple as an offering. While the larger Kavadis and the spectacular Vel Kavadis (which are attached to bearers partly through steel spikes pierced into the bearers’ skin) are the ones that grab the attention of photographers and the public, it is Selva’s understated Kavadi that is closer to the traditional form. “The traditional Kavadi is merely a pole with an arch over it, that rests on the bearer’s shoulder,” explains Kandasamy Velayuthan, Deputy President of the Malaysian Hindu Sangam, the body that oversees Thaipusam celebrations in Malaysia. “It should only be decorated with palm branches, peacock feathers and fruits that are used for prayers.” Over the years, Kavadis grew bigger and more elaborate. Kandasamy admits that this could be partly fuelled by one-upmanship among devotees, but is also due to the different vows made by different devotees. Perhaps each man has his own burden to carry.


Anuharan offering prayers before the big day

Diverging beliefs

Both Anuharan and Selva agree to me following them during the Thaipusam procession. Knowing that I have no prior experience, they describe to me a typical Thaipusam procession.

The procession itself is a raucous epic. Over a million devotees take the two-kilometre procession to Batu Caves, many carrying Kavadis of all sizes, the air rattling with the frantic drumbeats of traditional music troupes. Though the rituals practised might differ, the itinerary is largely similar: The procession starts on the banks of the Batu River, where devotees wash themselves as a symbolic form of cleansing, Hindu priests offer prayers, and the devotees take up their Kavadis. At this point, all the abstinence and fasting and meditation of the previous 48 days come to a head. Many Kavadi bearers will enter into a trance. Anuharan describes the experience: “The energy of a deity is channeled into you, and it’s as if you lose control of your body. You are aware of your surroundings, but it’s as if another energy is controlling your body, giving you the endurance and focus to finish the procession. Sometimes you even lose consciousness completely, so you have no recollection of events during the trance. You enter into a trance at the river bank, and wake up at Batu Caves!”

The intensity of the trance depends very much on the devotee’s preparations ahead of the big day. “Sometimes you get a good trance, sometimes you get a weak trance,” says Anuharan. “If you didn’t prepare with the right spirit – fast properly or spend time meditating – you will get a weak trance, and this means you might not have the strength to complete the procession. It is said that the piercings would hurt too,” he continues, referring to the common practice of piercing one’s self with metal skewers or hooks, as an accompanying act of penance.

Piercings have become a point of contention. Some, like Anuharan, disagree with the practice. “Hinduism never asks me to hurt myself,” he says. “It is a form of penance for some, they make a vow to do it, and so they must fulfill that vow. But for me, I don’t do it.” Selva, though, has had piercings before, and offers his counterpoint. “I have heard that when a skewer is pierced through the tip of the tongue, it touches a nerve on the tongue that helps the brain to focus and keep it in a meditative state during the procession.”


A priest tying a Kappu on Anuharan’s hand and blessing him and his family

The home stretch

Three days before Thaipusam, devotees who plan to participate in the procession visit a temple to offer special prayers. Anuharan, whose pilgrimage began in Australia, offers his prayers at the Ayappan temple near Batu Caves. A priest affixes a piece of turmeric on a string, sprinkles it with red Kunkum powder, and ties it to Anuharan’s hand. It is called a Kappu. It is a sign that its bearer has made a vow, and is currently serving out his penance. For the next three days, Anuharan will stay at the temple, sleeping on the floor at night, meditating and avoiding worldly distractions.

Selva, no stranger to tests of endurance, is hitting the home stretch too. His vows of abstinence will grow more severe, and he too will meditate more. Bala, the Kavadi maker, has much more to do. He has set up a tent near the Batu River, which will serve as his base of operations. Last-minute requests from customers leave him busy. At the same time, he too needs to observe all his vows. By day he scrambles to complete Kavadis, by night he and his wife sleep at nearby temples. On Thaipusam day, Bala will perform the procession over and over again. He or members of his team need to walk with the devotees who rent his Kavadi all the way to the Batu Caves temple, and retrieve the Kavadi in time for the next rental. Anuharan, Selva, and Bala are just three of an estimated 1.5 million people who will throng Batu Caves this year. Each will approach Batu Caves with different vows, bearing different burdens, having walked different paths. This is the final buildup of spirituality, for all of them.


Anuharan trying out the Kavadi

A common burden

Why do you do it? I ask. Though Anuharan and Selva differ in their practice of Thaipusam, they both offer the same answers – thanksgiving and tradition. “I carry a big Kavadi because I once made a request, and it was answered miraculously. In return, I vowed to carry a big Kavadi every year, so this is a fulfillment of that vow,” explains Anuharan. Selva has never made a specific vow, but he, too, sees the Thaipusam procession as an act of thanksgiving.

“It is a way of expressing my gratitude for the blessings in my life, and at the same time, to request for the blessings to continue.” Selva adds, “It is part of my identity as a Hindu. My family has always participated in the Thaipusam procession, and when the time comes I will pass this on to my children.” Anuharan concurs. “Every year, ever since I can remember, my family has taken this pilgrimage. It is a tradition worth keeping.”


Journey with us, as we go on a pilgrimage to Batu Caves in the second part of this series: A Walk Among Gods

Want to know more about Thaipusam and other festivals and events in Malaysia? Visit for more information.

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Sungai Buloh

At first glance Sungai Buloh may seem unassuming, quiet, boring even, an area within the Klang Valley with greenery. But visitors to Sungai Buloh are in for a surprise when they learn of its colourful past.

The Sungai Buloh we know today is a place where gardening enthusiasts go to purchase plants, vegetable seedlings and fertilisers from the many nurseries located in and around this suburban town. It is also set to be a major transport hub as it has been marked as one of the main stations under the new Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project, aimed at reducing congestion and improving public transportation.

But there’s more to Sungai Buloh than meets the eye.

The Sungai Buloh Leprosy Control Centre is a 230ha (568 acres) settlement, with its lush greenery and idyllic surroundings, belie the history of this close knit community.

Historic events shaped Sungai Buloh

Severe leprosy outbreaks took place in Malaysia in the 1800s which prompted community leaders and local authorities to find humane ways to help lepers by providing them places to recover and get treatment, as existing facilities were far from adequate.

Based on local laws at the time, patients had to be segregated from others, either under supervision of medical staff or be housed in a camp. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there were four leprosy camps in Malaysia – Pulau Serimbun (Malacca), Pulau Jerejak (Penang), Setapak (Selangor) and Pangkor Island (off Perak).

But it took a few medical experts and policy makers to do away with existing camps, which were likened to barbed-wired prisons. In 1923, Dr E. A. O. Traverse proposed a policy to improve the living conditions for those suffering from leprosy, in an area where patients could live with dignity, while receiving necessary care.

Selling not only items such as water features, the Sungai Buloh Garden World sells a concept with the objective to turn any home a heaven to come to.

With this push, Sir George Maxwell, the chief secretary of the Federated Malay States started to build a leprosy settlement in 1926, choosing Sungai Buloh for its lush valley and cool climate, much needed for leprosy patients who are sensitive to heat. Located near Bukit Lagong, by two rivers – the Sungai Buloh and Sungai Cemubung – it was a perfect place for the community.

The Sungai Buloh Leprosy settlement turned out to be one of the largest settlements under the British rule, and the second biggest one in the world, fondly also known as the Valley of Hope. The area, officially renamed National Leprosy Control Centre in 1969, was equipped with facilities and amenities to turn it into a garden city, allowing the community to become a self-supporting one. The idea of offering an opportunity to stem stigma was being realised in Sungai Buloh as lepers were able to grow their own plants for sale and earn an income, while living in a spacious and beautiful area.

Houses were built in clusters so people were encouraged to interact with another, on top of providing a sense of security. At each cluster, a food distribution area or market was built, again to encourage gathering of people to socialise while they visited these public areas. To further encourage community activities, a variety of clubs were set up. The Malay Club, various Chinese clan associations, the Indian Mutual Aid as well as drama clubs organised gatherings, dinners and performances. Similarly, religious institutions like temples, mosques and churches were built as a source of spiritual support for the community.

Over 2000 patients lived in Sungai Buloh, and the numbers were high enough to set up a separate administrative body. Simple civil functions such as birth, marriage and death registrations were supervised by a medical superintendent, who also monitored a divorce court in the area.

More importantly, Sungai Buloh was built for the leper community and it was run by the community. This gave a sense of purpose for leprosy sufferers as many became administrative workers, nurses, teachers and mechanics. Some were more entrepreneurial, setting up coffee shops, barber shops and small grocery stores.

Modernising Sungai Buloh

After the late 1960s, there were no more admissions to the centre, but plans to build an infectious disease control centre was laid out under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

Some 200 elderly former leprosy patients still live in the area, either in their own homes or in hospital quarters. Conservationists did express concern over whether the lush green area would have to make way for development, but due to pressure from the Save the Valley of Hope group in a campaign to preserve Sungai Buloh, the authorities designated 78ha of the total 230ha area to be gazetted as national heritage.

The Sungai Buloh Leprosy settlement.

Old buildings still dot the Sungai Buloh area, as they offer charm and quaintness of this once contained community. People visiting the area are encouraged to venture beyond the horticultural area to admire the old church, wet market and houses which are still standing in this settlement. The old wooden hospital is still functioning as a medical facility, while its newer sister hospital takes on the more complicated cases in a modern steel and glass designed building located at the entrance of Sungai Buloh.

People who want to visit this historic settlement can do so by public transport. Visitors can board the KTM Komuter Train to the Sungai Buloh station and take a Selangor bus number 144A from the station into the settlement. Alternatively, visitors can take the same bus from Medan Pasar in Chinatown and stop at Sungai Buloh Hospital.

Map: Sungai Buloh

Tourism Malaysia

Putrajaya, the making of a city

Putrajaya, the making of a city

As a young capital, Putrajaya may not have the character and soul of the great cities of the world, but it is well on its way there with innovative architecture, community-centric town planning and long term ambitions. In relation to many of Malaysia’s other cities like Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, the garden city of Putrajaya is like a new kid on the old block. Granted, it lacks the dramatic history of the former and the age-old culture of the latter but what it has in excess is youthfulness, a modern vision and a spirit to embrace the new.

From crops to city

A walk down its memory lane – or in this case, its landmark 4.2 km-long boulevard – may be short but it is filled with many aesthetically-pleasing buildings, parks and bridges. Barely 16 years since its groundbreaking ceremony, Putrajaya, gleaming in the tropical sun today, is a majestic city fitting of its role as the new centre of the Malaysian government.

What you see today is a far cry from the time when the area was known as Prang Besar. Those were the days when rubber and palm oil plantations dominated the terrain. In the late 1990s, work began to transform the estate into the glossy administrative capital envisioned by then-Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. It was to be his legacy for Malaysia, but at the time, the city was conceived for a more practical reason – to relieve the urban congestion that was slowly choking the capital city, Kuala Lumpur.

For some years during the initial phase of development, Putrajaya looked like a muddy pit where man and nature engaged in heavy battle – an apt reflection of its name (Prang Besar loosely translates into Big War) – as trees were mowed down and earth was flattened to make way for the new city.

Building with care

In the following years, the barren landscape sprouted shiny new buildings connected by a wide and impressive boulevard, while around it, a new township complete with schools, shopping malls and residences were built. It’s interesting to note that Putrajaya’s master plan focused on creating optimum living conditions. For instance, as much as 70 percent of Putrajaya’s total area is still green with more being done to reduce carbon emissions and waste products and to promote cooler outdoor temperatures in the tropical heat.

A broad range of housing types are available to bring people of diverse backgrounds together in Putrajaya. Public amenities and facilities within each neighbourhood are located within five minutes’ walking distance from any point. Solid fencing around the perimeter of a house is discouraged so as to promote interaction and socialization among neighbours (hedges, shrubs and trees are used instead to demarcate one house from the next).

The original streams running through the barren landscape — Sungai Chuau and Sungai Bisa – were flooded over and dammed up to create a chain of scenic man-made lakes that together, make up about 600 hectares or 12 percent of Putrajaya. Entire forests were re-planted, a whole other ecosystem was re-created. A new city was built from ground zero.

The lake district

The lake – its presence too huge to ignore — has now become the main feature of Putrajaya. It functions as both a recreational area and scenic element, as well as being an environmental filter and cooling system. It’s been the venue for high-profile events such as international hot air balloons festivals, flower carnivals, the Le Tour De Langkawi, and international waterski championships.

As many as eight bridges of majestic architecture were constructed over the lake at various points. These have become scenic backdrops for a variety of television commercials and favourite subject matters of the many photography enthusiasts. Visitors can best enjoy the beauty of the lake, and Putrajaya, via a lake cruise that highlights the many stunning landmarks around.

A 38 km waterfront area was developed along a part of the lake with parks, landscaped walkways, fishing piers and viewing decks. A well-kept secret is the public “beach” right next to Pullman Putrajaya Hotel where folks can enjoy some sun while the kids splash away in the water.

The lake also forms part of the wetland park and functions as a habitat for new wildlife to the area such as swifts, moor hens, water hens, wild ducks and kingfishers, as well as migratory birds from the Northern Hemisphere. Needless to say, it offers bird-watchers and nature lovers a fruitful outdoor session.

Landmark buildings

One of the first Putrajaya structures to be completed was the Putra Mosque which, till today, remains an important icon of Putrajaya. Its dusky pink dome, topped with a gold tiled finial measuring 76 metres above ground level, has been the point of reference for many who navigate the roads around the city. Surprisingly, the elaborately-decorated dome took only six weeks to complete due to the use of modern technology which was able to create a perfect mould of the dome. Pre-fabricated sections of the dome were made off-site and mounted on the mosque without the use of scaffolding and in 30 per cent less time than conventional methods.

Today, the mosque, which seems to “float” on the Putrajaya Lake, can welcome as many as 10,000 worshippers in its vast prayer hall. Even so, there was a need to construct another mosque just five years later, the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin mosque which can take in up to 20,000 worshippers at a time. Nicknamed the Iron Mosque because of the 6,000 tonnes of steel used in its construction, it couldn’t be more different than the Putra Mosque just 2.2 km to the north. Influenced by German and Chinese architectural aesthetics, the mosque does away with minarets, fans and air-conditioning. Instead, a fountain courtyard, large open spaces and latticed walls were implemented to cool the interiors and promote ventilation. Other design elements include the use of “transparent” walls on which etchings of Quranic verses seem to float.

Another building worth mentioning is the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications, or better known as the LEO building, short for Low Energy Office. It broke new ground in the area of energy efficiency and conservation in buildings, operating on approximately 135 kWh per m2 a year, with the aim of sustaining on as little as 55 kWh per m2 a year. It has become a model for green buildings that are both beautiful in design and user friendly for the comfort of its inhabitants.

The Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) in Precinct 5 also has a striking architecture. Located right at the end of the Putrajaya Boulevard, “facing off” Putra Perdana, the PICC was inspired by the design of the royal Malay belt buckle or pending, which is best appreciated with an aerial view of the building. From the front, however, the roof – whose sides are “lifted up” — reflects hints of Japanese origami design elements. The rest of the building is made of glass, to illuminate the interiors with as much natural light as possible.

Another distinctive feature of Putrajaya is the 100 metre wide and 4 km long boulevard with the Putra Perdana (the Prime Minister’s office) at one end and the PICC at the other. It’s been said that Tun Mahathir wanted it fashioned after the Champs-Elysees of Paris where parades and celebrations could be held in grand fashion along the main thoroughfare.

The garden city

Besides the Wetland Park, there are at least five other major parks in the vicinity. The Botanical Park has a fine collection of plant exhibits in beautifully landscaped grounds featuring 700 species from 90 countries. The Agriculture Heritage Park meanwhile honours the origins of Putrajaya by maintaining an original tract of the Prang Besar rubber plantation including an authentic rubber processing machine and smokehouse. It also cultivates Malaysian fruit trees in its orchards to give visitors a chance to sample local seasonal fruits.

Within the diplomatic enclave lies a man-made dipterocarp forest; what used to be an oil palm estate is now an urban jungle complete with natural streams, walking trails, and horse-riding trails. Two other unique parks within Putrajaya are the Challenge Park, to promote X-Games type recreation, and the Equestrian Park.

Putrajaya may be small in size at only 49 km square (compared to Kuala Lumpur’s 243 km square), but it certainly packs in a lot with its mixed development. And while it may be relatively young, it’s creating history of its own with landmark architecture, seamless marriage of modernity and nature, and its spirit of community.

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