Many may think that Cyberjaya is just a hub for technology centres, but it has grown into a lovely township to live in.
Once dubbed the Silicon Valley of Malaysia, Cyberjaya has come a long way from its cold and clinical beginnings to growing into a thriving and liveable township with great amenities and lifestyle options. It used to be a place where people only travelled for work. But these days, more people are seeing it as a viable place to live in thanks to the amount of development that has happened in Cyberjaya in the last 10 years.
Where is it located?
Cyberjaya is located about a 40-minute drive away from the Kuala Lumpur city centre and only about a 10-minute drive away from Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia. It is easily accessible using either the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) if you are coming from Petaling Jaya or the Maju Expressway (MEX) if you are coming from the city centre. It can also be accessed using these other highways, North-South Expressway Central Link (PLUS), Expressway Lingkaran Tengah (ELITE), and the South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE).
What is this area known for?
Cyberjaya was at the epicentre during the setting up of the Multimedia Super Corridor in the mid-90s. It was designed to propel Malaysia into the digital information age. The idea was for Cyberjaya to be a designated zone where tech-based entrepreneurs and global multinationals could enjoy tax breaks and access to world-class human capital and technological infrastructure. For the longest time, it was a stark and cold landscape with organisational hubs/buildings peppered across its landscape with limited amenities and lifestyle options.
A study by think tank IDEAS recently stated that Cyberjaya actually failed in its initial objectives. Despite that, the township has instead developed into a very liveable neighbourhood bursting with amenities, facilities, eateries, and malls. On top of that, it has also grown into one of the leading cities championing green efforts and sustainable living in Malaysia. Visiting Cyberjaya or making a day trip here didn’t use to be a thing. People only come here because they worked here. These days, people living in other parts of the Klang Valley actually head to Cyberjaya for a day out.
- The Masjid Raja Fisabilillah Cyberjaya is the first mosque in Malaysia to be awarded a Platinum – Green Building Index, using energy-efficient LED lights, natural air ventilation, rooftop solar panels, and rainwater harvesting system to cater to over 5,000 worshippers.
- Cyberjaya has a goal to cut its carbon emissions by 21% within this year.
- The city has developed a Low Carbon City Framework to align and mobilise green efforts. As part of this framework, road and parking should not exceed 20% of the total area of development in Cyberjaya and green open space has to be at a minimum of 10% of the total development or greater.
- The District Cooling System installed in Cyberjaya supplies chilled water for air-conditioning to over 40 multi-storey buildings in the township. The system utilises off-peak electricity at night to chill water for the buildings’ air-conditioning use during the day, thus reducing electricity usage by more than 65% compared to traditional air-conditioning systems.
- To champion sustainable living, the township also provides three Compostech machines that can recycle organic kitchen and garden waste into compost within a speedy 24 hours, which is then used as nutrient-rich fertiliser within the township. There is also an impressive recycling centre that is open three days a week that residents can use to recycle their recyclable trash.
Living in Cyberjaya
Cyberjaya has really improved by leaps and bounds in terms of liveability since its initial development in the 90s. Back in the early days, a small street mall was the main hub of activity for the sprawling township with hardly any shophouses and eateries to serve the growing workforce in the area. People would often need to travel to neighbouring townships such as Dengkil and Seri Kembangan for lunch. There were dreams of fast food, or if they dared, a decent cup of coffee in the morning.
Fast forward to today and Cyberjaya is absolutely bursting with lifestyle options. There is currently at least one fully fitted mall called DPULZE that houses, amongst other things, a GSC cinema outlet and a Jaya Grocer. There are also several lifestyle-based malls with eateries such as Tamarind Square, which besides being a hotbed for restaurants and cafes, is also home to a Village Grocer and a massive BookXcess store. There is a McDonald’s drive-thru and also a Starbucks drive-thru. Even popular restaurant chains such as MyBurgerLab, Ole-Ole Bali, and Sushi Zanmai have opened branches within the township. Indeed, it’s no longer just ‘nasi kandar’ on the menu these days.
For those who prioritise outdoor living as a key component of a township, they would like to settle in, the 400-acre Cyberjaya Lake Gardens is perfect. You can cycle, jog, or take a breezy evening walk around the lake.
As far as public transportation goes, Cyberjaya is currently served by the Putrajaya/Cyberjaya ERL station. The station also serves as a transportation hub which provides trains and bus routes to places such as KLIA, Bandar Utama, and Puchong. In 2022, the MRT SSP Line is set to have two stations serving Cyberjaya. There is also a bus terminal in Cyberjaya called the Cyberjaya Transport Terminal with routes that connect Cyberjaya to Ampang, Gombak, Bandar Tasik Selatan, Bandar Utama, Kepong, Shah Alam, and Klang. Taxis are also available at the terminal. Another great thing about Cyberjaya is that there is free parking around the township so you don’t actually need to pay for parking unless you are hitting the malls. Also, unlike many other suburbs, parking is generally not an issue around the area.
Located within the township are some of the most reputable higher education institutions in the country including Multimedia University, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, University Malaysia of Computer Science & Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences; Cyber Putra College, and Kirkby International College.
The township currently has a primary school and one secondary school catering to its recently growing population. There is also a full boarding girls’ school (Sekolah Seri Puteri), as well as the Korean School of Malaysia that serves the Korean expatriate population in the area.
Things to do in Cyberjaya
Cyberjaya basically functions like most townships, hence activities tend to be centred around family-orientated activities.
1. Shop till you drop at the DPULZE Mall
DPULZE mall acts as a general central hub for all weekend activities given that it has a cinema (GSC) and popular food chains such as Sushi Zanmai, GO Noodle House, and Nando’s. Families can easily head over there to spend a day catching a movie together, having a meal, getting some groceries, and ice cream after before heading off.
2. Take OOTD at Tamarind Square
For an alternative to the traditional mall experience, Tamarind Square is a more outdoor-focused mall not unlike Publika, which should appeal to more single people looking for something less mainstream. The design of the place with its massive red-brick walls and cement finishes makes it the ideal place for some Instagram-friendly pictures. The main attraction of Tamarind Square has to be the massive BookXcess which used to be open 24-hours. However, the hours have since been revised temporarily due to Covid-19 restrictions.
3. Bury yourself in books at BookXcess
If you’re a bookworm, you definitely need to check out this place. There is also a generous amount of brunch cafes all over the square, with Weplaygames Café being the standout. The café offers, along with coffee and cakes, over 200 board games for you to play during your time there.
4. Take a leisure walk at the Cyberjaya Lake Gardens
If you want a quiet evening out enjoying the tropical breeze, you can also head to the Cyberjaya Lake Gardens. It offers a serene getaway amidst what is largely considered a business centre. Office workers can often be seen going for a quick run after work.
What to eat in Cyberjaya?
Those who spent any time working in Cyberjaya between the late 90s to the mid-2000s may snigger at the prospect of this section given how slim the pickings were back then. That’s not to say Cyberjaya has since transformed into a food paradise, but there is most certainly a larger variety of food choices here now.
1. Bawal Power Sempoi
This grilled seafood joint specialises in grilled pomfret fish, which is served with a tangy chilli sauce. While this is the star of the show, the restaurant also serves a variety of other grilled and fried seafood options with the grilled ‘giant’ squid especially standing out. Expect a crowd on most days and have a few tissues on hand for your sweat as it can get pretty hot.
Address: Futurise Centre, Block 3710, Persiaran Apec, Cyberjaya, 63000 Cyberjaya, Selangor
Opening hours: 11.00 AM to 5.00pm. Closed on Monday
2. Saba Restaurant
Lovers of Middle Eastern food should not give this place a miss as it’s probably one of the finest in town. Dishes such as the Lamb Kabsah and the Chicken Mandy come highly recommended. The large food portions and reasonable prices certainly keeps the crowd coming.
Address: 4800 Suite 0-2 Ground Floor, Block A1, Jalan Perdana, CBD Perdana, 63000 Cyberjaya
Opening hours: 12.00 PM to 11.00 PM. Opens daily
Back then, it would have probably been challenging to locate a decent non-halal Chinese restaurant in Cyberjaya. Now there are more choices with this being one of the better choices with tasty Chinese food at affordable prices and decent portions.
Address: Unit 1-02, Prima 11, Jalan Teknokrat 6, Cyberjaya, 63000 Cyberjaya, Selangor
Opening hours: 11.00 AM to 10.00 PM. Opens daily
How to get around Cyberjaya
Cyberjaya is admittedly out of the way from the major city centres around the Klang Valley. Thankfully, it does have good accessibility to several major highways, a train service, and an up-and-coming MRT line set to be completed in 2022.
Highway: It is easily accessible using either the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) from Petaling Jaya or the Maju Expressway (MEX) from the KL city centre. It can also be accessed using these other highways: North-South Expressway Central Link (PLUS), Expressway Lingkaran Tengah (ELITE), and South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE)
Public Transport: The Putrajaya/Cyberjaya ERL serves as a transportation hub. It provides convenient train and bus routes to places such as KLIA, Bandar Utama, and Puchong.
There is also a bus terminal in Cyberjaya called the Cyberjaya Transport Terminal with routes that connect Cyberjaya to Ampang, Gombak, Bandar Tasik Selatan, Bandar Utama, Kepong, Shah Alam, and Klang. Taxis are also available at the terminal.
In 2022, the MRT SSP Line is set to have two stations serving Cyberjaya as well.
Car: It will take approximately 40 minutes of driving to get to KL city centre. However, Cyberjaya is only a 25-minute drive to KLIA.
Properties for sale in Cyberjaya
For the longest time, Cyberjaya was not seen as a good option for a liveable neighbourhood. Hence, property prices here have remained relatively affordable considering the number of amenities that are available to residents. Based on the H1 2020 Portal Demand Analytics by iProperty.com.my, Cyberjaya is among the Top 5 most in-demand areas by property seekers in Selangor. This is largely due to the developments that have occurred in the neighbourhood over the years. The neighbourhood is also attractive among property investors because of the number of expats as well as out-of-towners who work in the area, making it easier to get tenants for rentals. The overall median transacted price for residential homes is RM500,000 with the median rent price at RM1,500.
Property types in Cyberjaya
Cyberjaya has a broad spread of property types for people who are interested in the area. From landed properties to serviced apartments and affordable condos, Cyberjaya has what appears to be an abundance of land to develop. Hence, most properties here are built with a large space in between so it does not feel too cramped.
You can get a 1000 sq. ft. condo with 3 bedrooms for around RM375,000. That’s an amazing price for a property that’s situated in a fully-equipped neighbourhood such as Cyberjaya. If you’re looking for a larger built-up space, you can opt for a 1,414sq. ft. condo with 3 + 1 bedrooms at around RM690,000.
If you’re more interested in landed properties such as link houses, you can opt for a larger 4 + 1 room terrace house in Cyberjaya at just 830,000. Alternatively, if you’re interested in something more affordable, there are also options for a 3-room terrace house at just RM460,000.
Properties for rent
Based on the same H1 2020 Portal Demand Analytics by iProperty.com.my, Selangor continues to be the only major state with a positive residential demand. This culminated with the growing work-from-home trend encouraging homebuyers to explore areas further away from the city. It makes Cyberjaya quite the ideal place for people to consider renting, given that it is a beautiful, self-sustaining township that is not overly crowded and easy to get around in.
A spacious condo in the area at about 1,500 sq. ft. will cost you approximately RM1,700 a month. If you are a young family looking for a smaller but comfortable accommodation with fewer concerns on the budget, a nice condominium at just under 1,000 sq. ft. can be rented for about RM2,000 a month. However, if budget is a major concern and you’re looking for something a lot smaller, a condo can be rented for under RM1,000 as well.
Some of the neighbourhoods that are easily accessible to people living in Cyberjaya are:
As you can see, there is more to Cyberjaya than just work. It is quickly growing into an extremely liveable township that offers you great amenities with plenty of lifestyle options.