Re-writing the City: Putrajaya as Representation
Putrajaya, approximately midway between Malaysia's monarchic/parliamentary capital of Kuala Lumpur and the new national gateway of Kuala Lumpur International Airport, is being developed as the national administrative capital. At first glance it presents as a typical exercise in national celebration, with grand axis, monumental building arrangements, an ornamental lake and token ecological displays. However, a more in-depth examination reveals ambiguities and tensions: between legislature and bureaucracy, between national integrity and global ambition, between rival views of nature and, in its adopted imagery (?styling?), between actual and wished-for origins, and between nostalgia for origins (albeit ambiguous) and a vision of a radically different future. With an even deeper reading, there emerge profound questions about national identity and trajectory.