The Symbolic Universe of Cyberjaya, Malaysia

24 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2012

See all articles by Hans-Dieter Evers

Hans-Dieter Evers

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Ramli Nordin

Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn

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

Evers, Hans-Dieter and Nordin, Ramli, The Symbolic Universe of Cyberjaya, Malaysia (June 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Hans-Dieter Evers (Contact Author)

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia ( email )

Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Bangi, Selangor D.E. 43600
+60-149456927 (Phone)


Ramli Nordin

Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn

Walter-Flex-Str. 3
Bonn, 53113

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