CYBERJAYA: More than 24 developers are involved in transforming Cyberjaya, a for­mer oil palm plantation, into a more complete smart city not just for work or study but also to live and play in.

Aside from master devel­oper Setia Haruman Sdn Bhd, big boys who have made their presence felt there are Glomac Bhd, UEM Sunrise Bhd, SP Setia Bhd, the Mah Sing Group Bhd, Andaman Property Management Sdn Bhd, MCT Consortium Bhd, Sun­track Development Sdn Bhd, Country Heights Holdings Bhd, Nadayu Properties Bhd, Tujuan Gemilang Sdn Bhd and OSK Property Holdings Bhd (OSKPH).

New entrants to Cyberjaya include Paramount Property Sdn Bhd and Areca Properties Sdn Bhd.

Many developments are expected to be completed by 2016, by which time Malaysia’s first intelligent city is projected to have 28,762 completed residences, 1,863 shops and 18 million sq ft of office space, Setia Haruman business development head Sudhev Sreetharan says.

However, this may be easier said than done; since Cyberjaya’s inception from 1997 to 2004, the number of completed residences there was only 2,000. Between 2005 and last year, this figure grew to 5,190.

This year, the num­ber of completed residences and shops in Cyberjaya stands at 6,317 and 822 respectively; while completed office space takes up 13 million sq ft, according to Sudhev.

Sharing these statistics with the crowd that turned up for the third Cyberjaya Premier Property Showcase at the Cyberview Lodge Resort and Spa over the April 19-20 weekend, Sudhev says the number of universities or colleges in Cyberjaya, is also projected to grow, from six to eight by 2016, with the Open University of Malaysia as a new entrant.

The four international-standard universities presently there are the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Multimedia University, Universiti Islam Malaysia and Cyber­jaya University College of Medical Science.

Aside from two colleges – the Kirkby International College and Cyber Putra College – Cyberjaya has four schools, including the ELC International School and Seri Puteri Boarding School.

Moving with the growing population of this township – projected to reach 100,000 by 2016, from the cur­rent 70,000 – the number of schools will increase from four to seven. Among them is a Chinese school being developed by MCT Consortium Bhd.

The cumulative investment in infrastructure and buildings in Cyberjaya is expected to reach RM32.6 bil by 2016, from RM17 bil this year, Sudhev says.

He maintains the aim to build a knowledge-based economy in Cyberjaya, turn­ing it into Malaysia’s Silicon Valley, is unchanged. “It took us 17 years to be where we are today. Although it has been slow growth, we are not in a hurry.”

As master developer, Setia Haru­man’s role is to plan the development of Cyberjaya’s 7,000 acres, build the infrastructure, drainage and sewerage as well as develop and sell land parcels.

It is spending RM400 mil to improve the township’s infrastructure, of which RM92 mil will be for roads and drains, RM98 mil for drainage, RM15 mil for fibre-optics, RM60 mil for a reservoir and RM135 mil for a sewage treatment plant.

The intention is to accelerate Cyber­jaya’s development to fulfil the national agenda and the vision of it having world-class information technology, innovation and education resources readily available as key drivers spurring the country to developed-nation status by 2020.

Of the 70,000 population in Cyber­jaya, Sudhev says more than 35,000 are knowledge workers.

While some developers like to talk about the township’s estimated daytime population, which ranges from 45,000 to 52,000 from the information technology and services sector, Sudhev dismisses the idea of a daytime population in Cyberjaya by saying offices here operate 24 hours on a daily basis.

Cyberjaya houses 36 multinational corporations (MNCs) and over 800 business entities, which include 496 Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC)-status companies and over 190 eateries.

It is also home to government and private data centres, contact centres, shared services, research and development centres and other facilities.

Among them is the 60-acre HP Global Centre, touted as the largest facility of its kind in Malaysia; while the CSF Group’s CX5 claims to be the country’s first commercial green data centre and the largest in Southeast Asia.

Bank Negara Malaysia’s data centre is also in Cyberjaya but not many are aware of its presence, as the building has no signage, explains Sudhev.

As highlighted by the prime minister in April last year, he says: “Developing Cyberjaya is the government’s commitment in its national transformation policy because Cyberjaya is a vital component of the Economic Transformation Plan.”

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As one of the premier cyber cities in the region, more than 700 companies, including over 30 multinational corporations, have chosen Cyberjaya as the preferred location to operate their businesses. With the current 16 established property developers vying to invest more than RM20bil in Cyberjaya by 2016, there will be more than 28,000 residential units with an expected population of 100,000 by then. The opening of Cyberjaya's first neighbourhood mall, D'Pulze Shopping Centre and IOI City Mall Putrajaya will serve as a catalyst to boost Cyberjaya to the next growth tier. Coupled with completion of various residential developments, Cyberjaya will see population expansion soon. Other catalysts would involve the upcoming Cyberjaya City Centre, Xiamen University Malaysia Campus, the Maju Expressway extension through Cyberjaya and the Sungai Buloh-Kajang-Putrajaya MRT 2 extension. If you are seeking investment opportunities, Cyberjaya should be in your checklist. Call 016-7737036 for more information.