Malaysia's Ghost Capital

Malaysia's grand vision of a planned administrative capital was intended to follow the great examples of Brasilia, Islamabad, Washington and Canberra.

Located 25 km south of Kuala Lumpur, the city is laid out with much use of green space and state-of-the-art urban planning.

All the important government departments are there as well as regal residences, but where is the population?

MPs and diplomats were supposed to relocate from KL en masse, but have so far refused to do so. Their empty palatial residences await their arrival.

Hotels like Pullman and Shangri-La remain almost empty. Great skyscrapers lunge for the heavens, but how much space is occupied?

The cracks are starting to show as many facades are finished but the contents remain void. The futuristic monorail system lies idle and unfinished.

Despite its design prowess, it has been described variously on the web as:

"Pyongyang without the parades."
"artificial city lacking life"
"Malaysia’s Frankenstein city"
"Mahathir’s Fatehpur Sikri"
Malaysia’s Frankenstein city
Malaysia’s Frankenstein city
Malaysia’s Frankenstein city
"a 1:1 scale model city" or more bluntly
"a planning failure"

A weekend cycle ride around the wide flat pavements and you feel like a location scout for the next post-apocalyptic drama.



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