Cyberjaya Story

Cyberjaya - The Landmark MSC Development


TRANSLATED literally, Cyberjaya means Cyber-success. Fast forward almost 17 years since its opening in May 1997, now is an interesting time to assess whether Cyberjaya today is what it aspired and set out to be – the Silicon Valley of Malaysia.


Many would say that we are not even close, but I think it would only be fair to say that Cyberjaya is a landmark development of more than 7,000 acres of primarily undeveloped oil palm plantations.


Driven back then by what was known as the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC), Cyberjaya remains the nucleus of our Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia or what many techno-preneurs affectionately call the MSC.


The township is now home to many multinationals such as T-Systems, Dell, HP, DHL, Mahindra Satyam, Wipro, HSBC, Ericsson, Motorola, OCBC, BMW, IBM, Shell IT, Monster. com, Vivanova Systems, the Response Centre of the Anti-Money Laundering Network and many other local MSC-status companies.


As part of the transformation, Multimedia University (MMU) is now a thriving campus with more than 20,000 students and a growing number of international students.


In recent years, an interesting trend is witnessing the steady growth of the student population led by universities such as the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) and the University Malaysia of Computer Science & Engineering; Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences; Cyber Putra College and Kirkby International College.


Regardless of whether Cyberjaya will be the Silicon Valley of Malaysia, one thing is for sure:- Cyberjaya is here to stay and grow.


There are many plus points to a place like Cyberjaya, especially if one is looking for an abode that is calmer and more peaceful than the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya.


And, given the growing population of knowledge workers in the MSC and the ever growing number of local and international students, the potential of investing in a property for rental returns is real.


The “success” of Cyberjaya may be determined by the many property developers coming into the area who would do well to create innovative and affordable products. This would convince more of us to want to move there.


As you flip through the pages of this pullout, you can judge for yourself from the wide portfolio of projects representing the developers who are making a beeline to Cyberjaya, that the viability of the township is definitely showing positive signals for this emerging city.



Cyberjaya - A City In The Making


THE team hit the roadwith CBD Properties Sdn Bhd’s Jaime Chew and husband-and-wife team Timothy Low, Tamie, and a busload of approximately 50 real estate agents who dedicated a day to understanding the ins and outs of Cyberjaya.


The camaraderie enveloping the trip was one of sheer enthusiasm, unlike that of a tour. Visiting the UEM Sunrise Bhd’s subsidary Symphony Hills; Aspen and Clover by Mah Sing Group Berhad, among others, was an eye opener.


We drove past Tamarind Square by Tujuan Gemilang Sdn Bhd that will see future retail and office units facing a courtyard garden, “tree houses” that will be used as commercial hubs and SoHo (Small office Home office) units.


Undeterred by the seemingly far distance, we even took up Areca Properties Sdn Bhd’s Jennifer Chow’s offer to tour Cyberjaya at night.


The night’s sojourn took us to Starbucks, Prima Avenue, where night owls flock. A stone’s throw away, the Kitchen Village proved its mettle by whipping up dishes to satiate ravenous appetites while 24-hour mamak shops catered to the student crowd.


However, our efforts at exploring the nooks and corners of this Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia branded city were miniscule compared to the huge efforts of Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd, the master developer, in solidifying a strong blueprint for 21 blue-chip developers to invest RM20bil in this freshlyminted township.


RM400mil will be spent in upping connectivity in Cyberjaya which now has a 35km run of fibre optic cables all across the city.


Optimism is in the air as Cyberjaya gears itself toward a complete eco-system by 2016. In the eloquent words of Setia Haruman’s Sudhev Sreetharan, “Cyberjaya is a township development with a national agenda in mind. We’re competing with global smart cities to attract companies into Cyberjaya.” Even so, he is quick to pinpoint Cyberjaya’s unique position in being able to turn competitors into friends.


“As developers, we are competitors outside of Cyberjaya, but within it, we work together. The eco-system here is unique. If a developer fails, all the rest will fail. We all understand that. We’re fighting for market share, but it’s a friendly competition.”


And, indeed. Cyberjaya is on the cusp of exciting times ahead.



Cyberjaya, A City Poised For Capital Growth




Cyberjaya - Capital City Of Creative Industry


CYBERJAYA is keeping up with rapid changes in the IT (Information Technology) industry by undergoing changes on several fronts. The authorities have implemented several policies to enhance national growth and accelerate its shift into a digital economy. A one-stop centre will reportedly be set up in Cyberjaya to support companies involved in creative multimedia, research and development, outsourcing and data management.


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak recently announced the setting up of MaGIC (Malaysian Global Innovation and Creative Centre) as part of the government’s latest effort to enhance entrepreneurship. According to reports, a 115,0000sq ft building has been earmarked for the MaGIC office, which is intended to be a hub for entrepreneurs throughout Malaysia. Targeting entrepreneurs, the centre will make available everything from getting financing from banks or venture capital to incubators for developing start-ups. The ese include everything from intellectual property registration to facilities for training, coaching and mentoring, among others.


IT hub for technology professionals

Cyberjaya is already home to several multinational companies which have established themselves in this city and which are providing several services including global shared services and outsourcing.


Among them are HSBC, Fujitsu, DHL, Ericsson, IBM and Shell. The tech-city has a strategic location as it counts 38 multinationals as tenants with almost 800 tech-oriented companies in general taking residence here. Cyberjaya already has an excellent fibre optic network infrastructure laid down by Setia Haruman Technology Sdn Bhd.


According to media reports, the network infrastructure that facilitates data transfers between the two centres in Cyberjaya is able to accommodate up to 1GBps (Gigabites per second). This infrastructure has helped encourage growth for data centres in the city, creating opportunities for companies to develop themselves in the big data analytics field.


Cyberjaya is the place that allows new ideas to be explored and nurtured. There are several centres that allow entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into products and services that are commercially viable such as the SME (Small Medium Enterprise) Technopreneur Centre, MSC (Multimedia Super Corridor) Malaysia K(Knowledge) Workers Development Centre, and MSC Malaysia Technology Commercialisation Centre.


There are also several educational institutions in Cyberjaya which cater for the educational needs of its residents including the MMU (Multimedia University), LUCT (Limkokwing University of Creative Technology), Seri Puteri Boarding School and Kirkby International College.


The educational courses offered in the universities will enable students to learn multimedia disciplines branching out into animation, graphic design, broadcasting, games design, architecture, interior design, and programming.


These institutions would, in turn, help to nurture the talent that the nation’s IT industry needs.


In conclusion, with the infrastructure, institutions, policies and employment opportunities converging in one place, Cyberjaya will continue to thrive as a cyber city of the future.



A Bright Future For Cyberjaya


Setia Haruman tells us why Cyberjaya is the city to watch in the coming years as this quiet township is poised to break her silence in a big way


THE atmosphere was abuzz with a sense of enthusiasm that was almost tangible as a group from CBD Properties listened intently while Setia Haruman business development head Sudhev Sreetharan explained how Cyberjaya was a city of as yet untapped potential. “Ok, I can get a little excited,” Sudhev laughed, addressing the room full of approximately 50 real estate agents.


(From left to right) CBD Properties head of marketing and communications Jaime Chew, team manager Tamie Lum, head of project marketing Timothy Low and Setia Haruman head of business development Sudhev Sreetharan taken after the CBD Cyberjaya Study Tour last 27 Feb.


“People are looking at Cyberjaya. It’s different. I would like to tell you that you need to analyse Cyberjaya to understand what’s actually happening here, why it’s happening here, and moving forward, what is going to happen.”


Since its inception in 1997 under the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia initiative, Cyberjaya, which was poised to take off, was met with challenges. This, Sudhev says, can be attributed to the multiple financial crises that the country had to face in recent years. But, now that the global economy has begun to recover, it would seem that it is finally Cyberjaya’s time to shine.


Building Cyberjaya

“Setia Haruman, who are we? We are basically the master developer of Cyberjaya. Being a master developer, it’s not just about property development - it’s also about township development. What we are trying to create here is actually a perfect eco-system and there’s always that ‘chicken and egg’ situation.” Sudhev said, referring to the challenges of developing Cyberjaya


According to him, deciding what to develop first is a delicate balancing act as developing the commercial sector first means that businesses that come in will not have a ready market to sell their goods.


Adversely, people are generally reluctant to buy in the residential sector unless there are readily available amenities nearby.


To combat this dilemma, Setia Haruman adopts the attitude of “friendly competition” when it comes to the other developers who are keen on launching their property projects in Cyberjaya.


“We are fighting. Yes, we are fighting for the market, but it’s a friendly competition,” explained Sudhev. “So it’s a unique situation here in Cyberjaya, how all of us developers are working together. I’m from Setia Haruman, and we’re selling alongside all the other developers. Of course, we’re wearing the master developer’s hat. That’s what we do... We actually support the entire eco-system.” Sudhev noted that at least 21 big-name developers, seeing the township’s potential, have already bought land and are starting to build in Cyberjaya.


Poised for greatness

For many years, the common perception of Cyberjaya has been that it is a ghost town. Now however, it would seem that it has finally begun to gain traction in the property market, with the increasingly improved accessibility in the recent years. Cyberjaya is now connected to Kuala Lumpur via convenient links to major highways such as the Maju Expressway (MEX), NorthSouth Expressway Central Link (Elite), Lebuhraya DamansaraPuchong (LDP), South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE), and the Kajang Dispersal Link Expressway (SILK) with plans for an MRT system also in the pipelines for 2016. This means it now takes a mere 20 minutes to get from Kuala Lumpur city centre to Cyberjaya.


However, there is more to a township than its ease of access. That is why Setia Haruman, the other stakeholders and developers within Cyberjaya are building topnotch recreational facilities for its residents. This includes the 400acre Cyberjaya Lake Garden, where people can go to enjoy the beauty of Cyberjaya’s clean, green and lush landscape. However, if the outdoors is not your forte, work has started on Cyberjaya’s first shopping centre D’Pulze which will be one of five or six malls that are anticipated to be completed by 2016.


Changing perceptions

It would seem that the biggest challenge Cyberjaya faces at the moment is changing the mindset of the public. “People have had an untrue impression of Cyberjaya: That it is very far, there’s nothing there,” said CBD Properties project marketing head Timothy Low.


“But if you see it now, especially when the properties are all maturing, developers are starting to complete their properties, and buyers are starting to get their keys. You know, this is the time when the market will start to move,” he said, commenting on how much Cyberjaya has changed for the better in recent years and is being transformed into a place of enormous potential.


In an effort to change the public’s mindset about Cyberjaya, Low and his team from CBD Properties have begun organising study tours of the emerging township to show investors, home buyers and real estate agents how far it has come, and how much it can still grow. The tour takes its participants from Kuala Lumpur into Cyberjaya, allowing them to experience for themselves how quick the journey really is. The visitors are then taken around the various show rooms to see all the exciting developments that are coming up and due for completion in the near future.



Buzz In Cyberjaya By Night


According to Hairul, nightly activities are found at the Prima Avenue Sports & Recreational Centre too. Those who need to break out a sweat tend to flock there to have their futsal, badminton or table tennis sessions.



The trip around Cyberjaya lead us to Shaftsbury Square, a new mall that is becoming the most favoured and popular place for dining. There are so many food outlets to choose from, hence you could never go hungry here!


More malls are also coming to town. Just to name a few are The D-Pulze Shopping Centre opening soon, along with Pan’gea, Centrus


Safety and security

On a more serious note, even with the nightly activities happening in Cyberjaya, the security is still well under control. With built-in cameras and CCTVs offering surveillance at almost every road and traffic light juncture, the township is closely supervised by a command centre.


A check on the ground revealed that people staying in Cyberjaya tended to feel safe here.


Even when we were making our ground visits, the feeling was that of a generally secure township - without the need to worry for safety.


The DTS (Dedicated Transportation System) functions 24 hours, seven days a week for people to hop on and off as needed with well-scheduled buses and vans providing round-theclock efficient service.


With future plans of many retail malls, offices and residential developments over the next three to five years, the nightly activities in Cyberjaya are poised to take off. So yes, Cyberjaya is where the fun is now happening.



10 Things You Didn’t Know About Cyberjaya


1 It only takes 20 minutes to travel by car from Cyberjaya to Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) during peak hours.


2 There is a dedicated transportation services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


3 There are over 800 business entities here such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 496 of which have Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia status with over 35,000 Knowledge (K)-workers.


4 Cyberjaya is a world-class education hub with smart schools including the Multimedia University (MMU), Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS) and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT).


5 There is currently a student population of approximately 23,000 in Cyberjaya, 40% of which are foreign students.


6 Cyberjaya is the nation’s most well-connected city linked by 35km fibre-optic cables.


7 By 2020, Cyberjaya plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 21%.


8 There are plans for a digital museum and performing arts centre to promote the arts and culture in Cyberjaya.


9 In the next three years, five shopping centres will be opened within Cyberjaya.


10 Cyberjaya is a food haven where local forgetting 24-hour halal mamak shops operate.



Cyberjaya versus Kuala Lumpur


Here’s why some native urbanites are opting to stay at this new township


ITHINK Cyberjaya is underrated. Everybody just complains about the distance.” This statement, which was made by Zerin Properties chief executive officer Previndran Singhe at a recent event, echoes the common perception most people have of Cyberjaya being a destination far away from the city. However, this common misconception will be a thing of the past with convenient highway links including the Maju Expressway (MEX), North-South Expressway Central Link (Elite), Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP), South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE) and the Kajang Dispersal Link Expressway (SILK).


- Photo by MOHD SAHAR MASNISome prefer Cyberjaya for its laidback ambience and safe surroundings.


Cyberjaya’s property market is beginning to show real signs of development. Certain areas such as Cyberia Smarthome and Garden Residence are performing particularly well and are being tipped as projects to watch.


Surrounded by generous greenery and topnotch facilities, Cyberjaya is indeed the new prominent city as it plays host to the region’s most beautiful scenery and natural features.


New residents are moving to the area in droves despite it involving a fair bit of commuting to Cyberjaya. Cyberjaya is located 50km south of Kuala Lumpur and is now a well–known modern and dynamic city.


Would-be purchasers touring the neighbourhood of Cyberjaya will not lack showrooms to visit as at least 21 developers are making this their township of focus for now. From well-designed condominiums, to elegant looking semi-detached units, Cyberjaya could represent the ultimate dream catcher for residents who long for homes with futuristic features.


Cyberjaya also fulfills certain criteria for conducive living as compared to Kuala Lumpur which is now too populated. Due to the heavy traffic, skyrocketing prices and rather crowded territory, buying properties in Kuala Lumpur to some, would not be a fesible option. Young families are now looking for locations that are suitable to raise their families and Cyberjaya offers that positive trait.


Looking at the market prospects in Cyberjaya, some investors could view this township as a potential goldmine, albeit in the longer period. Cyberjaya is not only inhabited by locals but also foreigners as the city is equipped with two top private universities as in the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) and the Multimedia University (MMU). Taking a check on the ground, both local and international students seem to express positive vibes regarding the cyber city.


Nadirah Nasution, 20, also known as Neddy who is an aspiring event manager currently pursuing her studies at LUCT here. She thinks that the city is technologically up to par.


Neddy opined that the structural expansion of the city gives it a more avant-garde look which could be viewed as an attractive feature that will attract more residents to the town. She has recently shifted from her Desaria Villa Condominium unit in Puchong, Selangor to stay at the Cyberia Smarthome New Town Villa in Cyberjaya.


Expressing how she perceives Cyberjaya as a “modern and well-planned city”, she also loves how the buildings are designed.


Transportation-wise, Neddy said Cyberjaya offers various mode of transportation for students to move about, which is similar to the choices at Kuala Lumpur.


“There are options available such as buses and taxis. Cyberjaya is equipped with multiple bus stops and and 15 minute intervals for buses to take you from point A to point B without any hassle. Within any destination in Cyberjaya, regardless of the distance, the taxis have a fixed rate of RM8 to RM12 and the rate increases for places outside of Cyberjaya. “I think it’s a good environment for students as there are not much distractions here and we are not caught up in the typical city life which is not healthy for us,” she added.


Secure and safe surroundings

Natasha Hussain who was born and bred in Kuala Lumpur chose to to reside in Cyberjaya due to its peaceful environment.


According to her, Cyberjaya offers serenity in a secure environment. “I’ve been living in the big city since I was small. ‘Hectic’ would be the right word to describe Kuala Lumpur. I love Cyberjaya, not only because it’s new but how organised it is.”


She added that commuting to the big city is not a big of a deal for her. As a young working mother who’s raising two children, she commutes from Cyberjaya to Kuala Lumpur daily and she claimed that there are various routes that can be utilised to avoid heavy traffic.


Natasha is willing to commute just as long as she’s able to provide a secure environment for her family. “It was a decision that my husband and I made. We both fell in love with Cyberjaya because of its location which for us, is conducive to raising our family.


“Schools are nearby, the city itself is very clean and my children are basically exposed to a serene environment which is perfect for their growth. This is a place where I can just plan a spontaneous picnic over the weekend at the park with my family,” she enthused.


When asked about Cyberjaya’s famous range of “fenceless residences”, Natasha affirmed her preference for the Western style, especially on how they structure their designs and run their households. “I love how most of the Cyberjaya residences are gateless communities. It’s good to know that Malaysia is applying that modern concept here. “


Commenting on her home, she said that the residence here is efficiently maintained.


“It’s a safe community as the security team is very reliable. I trust them and the neighbours here are helpful too.” Natasha added that Cyberjaya has the potential to be the “next big city” as she is able to find entertainment and the city is conveniently accessible. Cyberjaya is now mainly focused on residential areas and shopping malls.


“This city is expanding rapidly. I’m amazed because as far back I can recall, during my first trip here, this city was like a blank canvas,” she recalled.



Cyberjaya’s Identity Crisis


HAPPY 17th birthday Cyberjaya. Yes, the township of Cyberjaya, which was envisioned by Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is now 17 years old.


The compelling idea behind Cyberjaya was to create a themed city, built across a 7,000-acre green field situated between Kuala Lumpur and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), thereby creating what was to be known as the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) - a self-contained intelligent city with world-class information technology (IT) infrastructure, low-density urban enterprise as well as state-of-the-art commercial, residential, enterprise and institutional developments. In other words, Cyberjaya was to herald the dawn of a new “Digital Malaysia”.


Therefore, it was pure bad luck that the timing of the launch and the subsequent investments were made just before the Asian Financial Crisis (AFC). When that happened, the undertaking stalled, necessitating the Government to take over the project.


The Government soldiered on post-AFC and made all the necessary investments and in the process, managed to develop an industrial city with terrific infrastructure, albeit on a much smaller scale. Connectivity was greatly improved with the new Maju Expressway (MEX) formerly known as Kuala LumpurPutrajaya Expressway (KLPE) with its links to the other highways. A rail link was also made available through a shared facility with Putrajaya next door.


Kuala Lumpur was now just 20 minutes away. Additionally, three universities and three colleges were established to synergise with the demands for talent by the employers in Cyberjaya. It was a huge undertaking. However, despite all these initiatives, Cyberjaya did not enjoy the success it so richly deserved. What went wrong?


Early days

The early adopters who arrived in Cyberjaya found that no one actually lived there and their workforce had to be imported to the new township. Travel was a 50km journey by car. Alternatively, employees had to be ferried around in buses at great cost. Staff turnover was high and the human resource departments were at their wits’ end.


As a result, in the 17 years since its launch, not that many multinational corporations or MNC’s have established and grown their presence in Cyberjaya. Some of the companies that invested in Cyberjaya found their technologies being surpassed by newer products, forcing them to close and leave. As a result, Cyberjaya has not resembled anything close to the Silicon Valley development that was originally envisioned to be.


To further complicate the situation, the MSC status was being granted to other parts of the Klang Valley, removing Cyberjaya’s exclusivity as Malaysia’s only MSC centre. New developments such as i-City in Shah Alam, various developments in KL Sentral, Bangsar South, Petaling Jaya and many other locations could now qualify for MSC status.


As a result, many companies decided back then to expand their operations within Greater Kuala Lumpur where there was an excellent transport system in place and more importantly, a large talent pool available to leverage on for their new businesses.


And then something changed. The development opportunities in Puchong were exhausted, land prices in developments adjacent to Cyberjaya were skyrocketing and large tracks of land were becoming increasingly difficult to get hold of. The housing boom had arrived at the doorstep of Cyberjaya.


With ample affordable land and excellent infrastructure, land banks were quickly snapped up by Malaysian developers with good track records like SP Setia Bhd, Mah Sing Group Bhd, Glomac Bhd and the Emkay Group to name a few. They moved in quickly to acquire large tracts of land and successfully launched large residential and commercial projects. So, what started out as the Silicon Valley of Malaysia was in danger of becoming yet another township development.


Cyberjaya, a concept ahead of its time

Cyberjaya was an idea well ahead of its time. Unfortunately, it was a victim of events out of its control. A lot of time was lost during the AFC and a lack of corporate sponsored research and development (R&D) at the universities did not play up to the strengths of the Cyberjaya concept.


We also fail to remember that the MSC was conceived well before the advent of cloud computing, the i-phone, the i-pad, Apps, flash disk drives, digital music players, digital cameras, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Amazon, Twitter, online shopping and Android software. Google was just an idea at the time and Blackberry was just a term solely referring to a fruit.


It appears that Cyberjaya hasn’t been able to respond quickly enough to the speed of a rapidly changing digital world and as a result, did not concretely appear to know what it wanted to be. The good news is that Cyberjaya is not without its strengths. Moving forward, I am pleased to see that there are plans to intensify marketing efforts in terms of promoting Malaysia as a global Data Centre (DC) hub, to both local companies and foreign investors.


I have always held the view that we need to emphasise that Cyberjaya has the supportive eco-system to become a great global DC destination and with that, it can become a world leader in this field. Much has already been heavily invested to ensure that a worldclass infrastructure has been put in place with an abundant supply of power, land and water making it sustainable.


However, one of the challenges that has not been addressed is Malaysia’s bandwidth cost and a relative lack of diversity in the area, which are crucial components of a DC service. Compared to Singapore, fewer data submarine cables terminate in Malaysia, making it less attractive for DC operations. This needs to be addressed, and quickly.


With the additional investments made, a solution could be at hand and Cyberjaya could re-emerge as the leading contender as a global DC hub. Cloud computing is the next big thing. Demand is only just beginning and growth is exponential. Malaysia has a lot going for it: We don’t have natural disasters and are still a lowcost destination with great infrastructure, with an educated population and stable Government.


Let’s hope when that happens, there will still be reasonably priced land left in Cyberjaya for these new hi-tech buildings to be constructed on. Fulfilling the potential of this remarkable development is becoming a reality; Cyberjaya can finally become a mature township with great industries and universities - propelling its rising potential for achieving city status.



source : > The Star Malaysia, 16 March 2014



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