The Symbolic Universe of Cyberjaya, Malaysia
24 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2012
Date Written: June 1, 2012
This paper analyses how various actors have used potent urban symbols to assert their vision of a modern, globalized Malay identity in the construction of the recently founded knowledge city of Cyberjaya, part of the flagship Multimedia Super Corridor project. As the state controls both the land and the urban planning process it has attempted to impose its own particularistic vision of Malaysian society on urban space and urban structures. This is demonstrated through an analysis of the discursive vision behind Cyberjaya, the logos of government corporations, the use of architectural forms and motifs, and the treatment of urban space itself. The discussion suggests the spatial and symbolic universe of Cyberjaya draws on both patterns of ‘traditional’ Malay life as well a projected vision of a modernized Malay identity that resonates with a globalized Islam. This generates contestations in which other possible imaginings of Cyberjaya’s symbolic space become possible.
Keywords: urban development, urban symbols, identity, knowledge, Malaysia
JEL Classification: A14, A58, Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation