The problem with Cyberjaya

Here's a very bullish and fawning story on Cyberjaya, Malaysia's first-ever "intelligent city" that forms the heart of the country's Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) initiative.I work in Cyberjaya, so I can tell you it's not the bustling hub that story paints it to be.

Here's a very bullish and fawning story on Cyberjaya, Malaysia's first-ever "intelligent city" that forms the heart of the country's Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) initiative.

I work in Cyberjaya, so I can tell you it's not the bustling hub that story paints it to be.

Cyberjaya is a nice place to work precisely because it's not bustling. There is no traffic jam and it's really very peaceful. A bustling hub, it is not.

The reason has to do with distance from the city. From my home in northern Kuala Lumpur, it's about 50 km away and it takes me about an hour to get there in the morning. It takes about an hour and a half to get back home in the evenings--somehow the jam leading into the city gets worse in the evenings.

If only the city planners had included a bullet train that rides straight into Cyberjaya, people would have no qualms about working there. Then, it would be the bustling hub the government wishes it to be.

To give you an idea of what a sleepy hollow it is, Cyberjaya doesn't have its own shopping mall. The closest equivalent is the Street Mall, an open-air shopping area.

There's no McDonald's, no Starbucks, no cinema and a limited choice of eating places.

But, it's a lovely, peaceful place.