Things You May Not Know About Putrajaya - Jiran

Things You May Not Know About Putrajaya

There’s much more to this administrative hub than its stunning architecture

Published on 1 February 2020

Malaysians know Putrajaya as the third Federal Territory of Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur and Labuan. On top of that, it’s also home to beautiful skyscrapers and bridges. But do you really know the story behind Putrajaya and why this place remains an attractive location for many?

We’ve listed a few things that you may not know about Putrajaya. This may not be a tourism advertisement, but if you end up in Putrajaya this weekend, we are glad to have played a small part in enticing you to make the trip.

Named after Tunku Abdul Rahman

Let’s begin with one fact that lies right under our noses. Not a lot of people know that Putrajaya was named after our first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah. In Bahasa Malaysia, ‘putra’ means prince and ‘jaya’ means success. Thus, the name Putrajaya symbolises the nation’s aspirations to celebrate and replicate the success of Tunku Abdul Rahman, who was indeed a member of the Kedah royal family.

‘Putrajaya’ wasn’t its original name

Once upon a time, the Putrajaya you know today used to be known by another name. That name was ‘Prang Besar’, or in English, the Great War and yes, it was named as a tribute to the First World War (that was known as the Great War back then). According to, 900 acres of jungle land were granted to nine British officers who returned from WWI in 1921. As the acreage increased, the soldiers decided to open a company called Prang Besar Estate Ltd that eventually turned into the name of the area. Prang Besar was mostly covered with palm trees, until it was chosen to be developed into the Federal Territory that we know today. 

An alternative location for Putrajaya?

A different place altogether was reportedly proposed to be the location of Putrajaya. This location is Janda Baik, a small village in Bentong, Pahang, about 30 kilometres or 45 minutes’ drive from Kuala Lumpur. The area is known for its cool and breezy tropical climate (though maybe not as cool as Genting Highlands). The village and Prang Besar were shortlisted as a Federal Territory, but the latter was eventually chosen due to the then brand new connection between Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and the latest highway.

A land of adventure: you can even soar like superheroes…on water!

In its early days, Putrajaya was perceived as lacking the attractions normally found in most major cities. Now, it has turned into a go-to destination for many extreme activities, including the Flyboard, which lets you ‘fly’ around the lake like Iron Man. People flock to Putrajaya on weekends to jog, skate and even take part in stand up paddling. You may want to check these activities out for a fun-filled time with your family and friends.

The secret that Putrajaya foodies could be hiding from you

Putrajayans love exercising at the city’s lakeside parks. What they love even more is having a great meal by the lake! One culinary institution that has been serving Putrajaya residents with a wide variety of local fare is Umai Cafe in Presint 2. Famous for its lempeng kelapa (coconut pancakes) and picturesque view, the reason why this eatery may be unknown to you is because Putrajaya folks may not be too keen to share their favourite spot; otherwise we will be crowding the place instead!

PS: Try the mi rebus, you won’t regret it!

To find more local businesses and homegrown gems in Putrajaya, head to Yellow Pages Malaysia now.