Putrajaya, as the name suggests, can be literally translated as the success of a Prince. For obvious reason, it is named after the first Malaysian Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra and it serves as the federal administrative capital of Malaysia, located 30km south of Kuala Lumpur, the commercial and financial centre of the country.
Putrajaya is the brainchild of the fourth and former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and its development commenced in early 1990s. Today, it boasts major landmarks with almost all of Malaysia’s governmental ministries and agencies having relocated here since the initial move in 1999 from Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, which was then an administrative capital.
Originally known as Prang Besar (Big War), the British changed the name to Air Hitam (Black Water) in 1918. Putrajaya was envisioned to replace Kuala Lumpur as the new administrative capital in the late 1980s. Kuala Lumpur was just a massively congested and overcrowded city.
With the dire need to push this crucial developmental agenda, the Federal Government went through series of negotiations with the State Government of Selangor in mid 1990s. Upon agreement and with the blessings of the Selangor Sultan, the royal figurehead of the State, the Federal Government purchased the initial 45.8 square kilometres of land. Construction began in August 1995 and it was Malaysia’s biggest project and one of South East Asia’s largest development projects with estimated final cost of US$8.1 billion. The entire project was designed and constructed by Malaysian companies (source: Wikipedia).
It was declared as a Federal Territory on 1 February, 2001 by Tun Dr Mahathir. Putrajaya is the third Federal Territory after Kuala Lumpur and Labuan.