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Cyberjaya is a new planned township with a science park as the core that forms a key part of the Multimedia Super Corridor in Malaysiamarker. It is located in the district of Sepangmarker, Selangormarker and is situated about 50 km south of Kuala Lumpurmarker, the capital of Malaysiamarker. This town aspires to be known as the Silicon Valleymarker of Malaysia.

The official opening ceremony for Cyberjaya was held in May 1997 by then Prime Minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad.

History

The idea of an IT-themed city, Cyberjaya, arose out of a study by management consultancy McKinsey for the Multimedia Super Corridor commissioned by the Federal Government of Malaysia in 1995. The implementation agency was the Town & Country Planning Department of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. The catalyst is the agreement by NTT in 1996 to site an R&D center at a site to the west of the new Malaysian administration center, Putrajayamarker.

Multimedia Development Corporation (then known as MDC), the agency overseeing the implementation of the MSC was located in Cyberjaya to oversee the creation. The real estate implementation was privatized to Cyberview Sdn Bhd (Cyberview) in early 1997. At the time, Cyberview was set up a joint-venture comprising entities such as Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd (SHSB), Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT), Golden Hope, MDeC, Permodalan Nasional Berhad and Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Berhad (KDEB), representative of the Selangor Government. SHSB, a consortium comprising Renong, Landmarks, MKLand and Country Heights, was asked to take the lead regarding the development. Federal government linked companies Telekom Malaysia and Tenaga Nasional were conscripted to provide the telecommunication and power supply infrastructure. The ambitious plan was to develop the first phase, comprising 1,430 hactares by year 2006, with the remaining 1,460 hectares to be developed after year 2011. The engineering management consultant, Pengurusan Lebuhraya Bhd (now acquired by Opus International Malaysia) was appointed to manage the construction of utilities and infrastructure, overseeing major construction firms of Peremba and United Engineers Malaysia .

The central theme for the development is providing a quantum jump in standards, summarized as follows:
  • a leading edge multimedia centre that will attract world-class multimedia/IT companies;
  • sophisticated and state-of-the-art integrated infrastructure and IT system; and
  • sophisticated and efficient transportation systems with an emphasis on public transport


However, due to the late 1997 Asian financial crisis, the undertaking was deemed no longer viable and necessitated the Government taking over of the 55% and 15% stake in Cyberview shares held by SHSB and NTT respectively via the Ministry of Finance Inc (MOF Inc). The transaction gave MOF Inc a 70% stake and Cyberview has remained a government-owned company ever since. Cyberview then entered into an agreement with SHSB with shareholders comprising Country Heights Holdings Berhad (CHHB), Landmarks, Menara Embun (an MKLand Controlled Company) and Renong (now UEM World) with equal shares of 25%; granting SHSB the right to develop Cyberjaya as the master developer, while Cyberview became the landowner. In 2004, CHHB and Landmarks sold their equity interest in SHSB to MKLand-controlled companies, namely Modern Eden (12.5%), Impressive Circuits (12.5%) and Virtual Path (25%), resulting in MKLand-controlled companies becoming the majority shareholder of SHSB. Due to SHSB's shareholders' reluctance to inject their own reserves into SHSB and the company's practice of awarding contracts at high premiums, SHSB had to take up substantial loans. This has led to its gearing ratio ballooning to an unsustainable amount. Cyberview was then asked by the Government to rescue the ailing SHSB that led to Cyberview's expanded role.

Cyberview's role grew to include implementing various development and government initiatives, while SHSB carried on its role as the master developer. In addition to this, Cyberview was also tasked to undertake city-wide maintenance and spearhead investor interface and community-centric programmes in Cyberjaya.

Physical development

Spanning an area of about 28.94 square kilometres (7,000 acres), the town is the nucleus of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) or now known as MSC Malaysia. The site for Cyberjaya was primarily undeveloped land consisting of oil palm plantations. It has since seen extensive building activities including a boutique hotel, numerous commercial buildings, offices for MSC Status companies; universities, a community club and the headquarters for the local authority.

It was built to be the city of the future, but no actual goals towards this end have been announced. The Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) (formerly MDC), the agency tasked with spearheading the MSC's progress also has its headquarters in the heart of Cyberjaya.

Office and commercial facilities

Cyberjaya.
A number of companies who qualify for MSC incentives have relocated their operations to Cyberjaya. Among them are Dell, HP, DHL, Satyam, Wipro, HSBC, Ericsson, Motorola, OCBC, BMW, IBM, Shell IT, EDS, Monster.com, Vivanova Systems, the Response Centre of The Anti Money Laundering Network and others. Currently, over 500 MSC Status companies have located their operations here, making the township a rapidly growing area.

Education facilities

An early component of Cyberjaya was the Multimedia University, known locally as MMU. The university's enrolment in Cyberjaya is currently about 20,277 students. Approximately 19% of these are international students from 80 countries. Faculty departments include Engineering, Information Technology, Creative Multimedia and Management. Like Cyberjaya, MMU turned 10 in 2007. Its Cyberjaya campus opened in Malaysia's first intelligent city of Cyberjaya, on 8 July 1999. This campus was the brainchild of the country's fourth Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as a center of learning and research for the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), a 750 km² area designated as the country's high-tech research and industrial area. The relationship between the campus and the MSC is intended to be similar to the relationships U.C. Berkeley and Stanford Universitymarker share with the Silicon Valleymarker. Later, he requested the management to change the name of Universiti Telekom to Multimedia University. Within the first five years of its founding, the university's total student population grew beyond 10,000 in both campuses.

The university is a member of LAOTSE, an international network of leading universities in Europe and Asia.

The population received a boost when the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology opened. It now has about 9,000 students including foreign students from more than 60 countries around the world.

Recent additions to Cyberjaya in 2006 includes the Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences which has recently opened for enrolment. Also, there is a Sekolah Seri Puteri which is a National Secondary Full Boarding School (Malay: Sekolah Berasrama Penuh) for girls.

To cater for schoolgoing children of the general population of Cyberjaya, there are also primary Sekolah Kebangsaan Cyberjaya & secondary (Sekolah Menengah Cyberjaya) public schools provided in Cyberjaya. The student population is about 350 and 750 for the primary & the secondary schools respectively.

Public facilities

As an emerging township, Cyberjaya now has a Police Station Complex, and a Fire Station (Bomba). Apart from that, other public amenities which are already completed includes a small recreational park just next to Multimedia University, the Cyberjaya Community Club, the Sports Arena (which offers outdoor sports facilities), bus shelters, pedestrian walkways and signalised pedestrian crossing at road junctions and more than 700 free parking bays.

Recreation facilities

Parks

The Cyberjaya Lake Gardens is a 'green lung' for Cyberjaya. Presently, about of the land has been developed with facilities including Visitor's Information Centre, Boardwalk, Look-Out Tower, children's playground, of main lake and of natural and wetland. The Lake Gardens is now gaining popularity amongst the local community. Many community events including fishing competitions have attracted thousands to this lake to participate. In September 2007, the Cyberjaya 50th Merdeka Carnival Celebration has attracted more than 4,000 anglers and it was registered as the biggest fishing competition by the Malaysia Book of Records.

Other outdoor recreational facilities include the mini park, located adjacent to the Multimedia University; the 3.5 km promenade area next to the Putrajaya Lake and the Sports Arena which offers more than 360 free parking bays, 1 basketball court, 1 tennis court, 2 futsal courts, a football field and a small food court.

For indoor recreational facilities, the Cyberjaya Community Club, developed by Cyberview, has been the point of congregation for many including some from outside Cyberjaya. With 2 futsal courts, 2 badminton courts, a gymnasium and 2 squash courts; all indoor and outdoor recreational facilities including basketball court, 2 tennis courts, swimming pool, a go-kart circuit and golf driving range; it is a hive of activities, especially after 5.30 pm.

Nightlife

While some companies in Cyberjaya operate 24 hours a day, nightlife in Cyberjaya can be further improved. There is Hops and Grapes (a pub located at Century Square) and Treehaus (at Cyberview Lodge Resort and Spa). The Coffee Shop franchise "Old Town White Coffee" has also entered the F&B scene at Prima Avenue and its operated 24/7. Hassan's Cafe and D'Arif are the other 2 food outlets which operate 24/7.

Latest additions to the Cyberjaya night scene are Buddies Cafe,Mak Teh,JS Maju and RIM, these are shoplets owned by the Malaysian Indian Muslim community, they are opened 24/7 as well. One can enjoy late night gathering sessions with friends or just simply a meal for many who work the night shifts in the various multinational companies around Cyberjaya.

Transportation

The completion of the KL-Putrajaya Highway in December 2007 has cut short the travelling time by car from Kuala Lumpur to Cyberjaya to 20 minutes. The KL - Putrajaya Highway allows motorists from Kuala Lumpur and various other places along its alignment to get to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) within 30 minutes. The Highway which ends at the Putrajaya Utama toll plaza links up to the Elite Highway which will then give motorist only another 10 minutes to get to KLIA. However, one still needs about 30 minutes to travel to KLIA from Cyberjaya. Drivers also have a toll-free alternative route now with the completion of the B15 Road extension that passes through Dengkil and Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi. The North-South Expressway Central Link (also known as ELITE Highway) and the North Klang Valley Expressway will make the travelling time from Cyberjaya to Port Klang, the nation's main port to be less than one hour.

Other than the above mentioned highways, Cyberjaya is also linked to other major towns by expressways including Damansara-Puchong Expressway (DPE), South Klang Valley Expressway and the North South Expressway (NSE).

KLIA Ekspress provides express rail link (ERL) transit service to Cyberjaya and Putrajaya. Due to the closeness of the these two cities, both share the same station which is located in Putrajaya. There are feeder buses that run from the Putrajaya Sentral to rest of Putrajaya and Cyberjaya. These buses are timed to match with the timing of the train services and cost RM1 for travel within the circle.

To further improve the accessibility to the city, especially for the working population, Cyberview has initiated the Cyberjaya Dedicated Transportation System, with routes running to important hubs within the Klang Valley, Banting, Klang and Seremban. The service runs 24-hours, 7 days a week and the buses are equipped with state-of-the-art tracking devices and monitoring systems to help ensure timeliness of the service and passenger safety.

To improve the internal transportation system within the city, Cyberview has launched a free Park & Ride system which operates a viable alternative for those wishing to park at the designated free parking areas in Cyberjaya and commuting to the various areas of the city.

Cyberjaya also features a single bus terminal, known as the Cyberjaya Transport Terminal. Taxis are also available at the Cyberjaya Transport Terminal.

The neighbouring transportation hub of Putrajaya Sentral provides conventional bus routes from Bandar Utama (U43) and Serdang KTM Komutermarker (U42); Express Bus Route to Jalan Sultan Mohamad, Kuala Lumpur (E1) and the Local Bus (T429) as a feeder service from Putrajaya Sentral to Cyberjaya.

Residential areas

As of 2005, Cyberjaya still lacks significant residential properties apart from the D'Melor condos, the Cyberia condo and townhouses. This results in de-population of the area when office workers commute home every night.

However, this issue will be resolved soon with the launch of more than 900 units of affordable housing comprising of various type houses by Cyberview. This development, which will be developed in phases, is expected to have a population of more than 3,600 residents once it is fully developed.

The Cyberview Lodge Spa Resorts also have a few Villas managed by them, which are situated just across the road from the Spa Hotel. The name of the Villas is Cyberview Garden Villas. They offer apartments for both short and longer stays. The hotel reception has all the required information.

Population

Most people living in Cyberjaya are knowledge workers in the more than 400 companies located in the township as well as students from Multimedia University, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) and Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS).

Apart from that, those who commute to Cyberjaya normally live in the areas nearby to Cyberjaya due to high costs. Thus, many working or studying in Cyberjaya normally live in Dengkil, Kota Warisan (a suburb of Salak Tinggimarker), Serdang, Sri Kembanganmarker, Putrajayamarker, Puchong and Kajangmarker.

The day population in Cyberjaya is about 37,000 but the number dwindles, as there are only 10,000 residents (and of course, the knowledge workers of the companies operate 'round-the-clock). For some multi-national companies operating around-the-clock, it is work as usual even during the quiet of the night.

Technological Features

Cyberjaya is planned as an intelligent city with ICT and multimedia industries, R&D centers, a Multimedia University and operational headquarters for multinationals wishing to direct their worldwide manufacturing and trading activities using multimedia technology.

Toward this end, leading edge technologies were used, some with mixed results. In addition to the successful implementation of the above-mentioned Cyberjaya Dedicated Transportation System, the Cyberjaya blog is another example of the technology-based features that have been put in place.

Communications

To support the aspiration to host multimedia industries, Cyberjaya was specified with extensive and intensive fibre optic cabling. As Malaysia's premier IT hub, Cyberjaya has a communication backbone running primarily on fibre optics known as Cyberjaya Metro Fibre Network (CMFN). CMFN delivers the fiber connectivity straight to the building under the concepts of “Fibre-To-The-Building (FTTB)” and “Fibre-To-The-Home(FTTH)”. With the ring topology; it secures full redundancy throughout the network. As such, many data centres are located here. However, some commercial and residential units still use copper lines to provide "last mile" access to customers. Broadband access covering wireless and fixed line is readily available. Broadband access is serviced primarily by City Broadband (Ethernet Broadband-Over-Fibreoptic), TMnet, MyKris, NTT MSC(formerly ARCnet) and recently Air Broadband which has announced its test pilot plans in Cyberjaya for Wimax.

Backup electrical supply

The Cyberjaya planning guidelines strongly required two electricity connections from two separate substations. Diesel generators up to full load (except air conditioning load) were specified to be installed in all commercial building. The electricity grid connection was also organized to enable “power islanding” and supported by the Serdang Power Station. The electricity service standard is set at 99.99% availability with maximum of 10 seconds interruption for office and commercial areas and maximum 15 minutes interruption for residential areas. These measures were dreamed up to provide Cyberjaya with a comparative advantage against other areas outside the Multimedia Super Corridor. However, Tenaga Nasional has extended the same standard to all urban areas connected to the National Grid in Malaysia.

On 26 June 2007, despite the advertised preparedness, Cyberjaya experienced a city-wide power outtage for more than 30 minutes. No official reason was given for the outtage.

District cooling

The use of district cooling system, where chilled water from a central plant is provided to run the air conditioning, was laid extensively in the central district. The promise is the economical use of off-peak electricity at night to chill water for the air conditioning use during the day. Pendinginan Megajana Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Cyberview, is the provider for this service.

City Command Centre

The grandly named City Command Centre (C3I) is planned as a control centre to monitor city services and provide municipal government services to the public. Advanced systems such as SCADA, GIS, municipal systems and electronic payment systems were installed. The Government is now looking into improving the business model and implementation of this facility.

Data centres

Several data centres operate in Cyberjaya. Notable are those operated by Shell, NTT MSC, BMW and DHL. A small scale Data Centre ideal for Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is located at SME Technopreneur Center Cyberjaya SME Data Centre that provides Rack Location Unit (RLU) space rental and server co-location.

Call centres

Several call centres operate in Cyberjaya. Notables are those operated by EDS, IBM, HSBC and DHL.

Office space

Initially 8 blocks of office buildings were built by the developer. These are purpose built for multimedia companies by being provided extra height ceiling and under floor trunking (some with raised floor), fibre optic wiring, dual redundant power supply, uninterruptible power supply and back up generators for whole electricity load, which common practice in Malaysia is only to 30% load.

Presently, there are more than 30 completed office buildings in Cyberjaya catering for multi tenants as well as single tenants. The presence of Government agencies will also increase once the Bank Negara Data Centre and Road and Transport Department's IT Centre buildings are completed.

This city is also looking forward to the development of the Knowledge Workers Development Institute (KWDI) and the Creative Multimedia Cluster, both by Cyberview, which are targeted for completion in 2009.

References




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