PETALING JAYA: The city planning for Putrajaya was fashioned after Paris, France and not Medina in Saudi Arabia as claimed by certain parties.
In his blog, chedet.cc, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad clarified that Putrajaya was established to be the administrative centre for the nation, and they drew on inspiration from cities around the world to achieve this purpose.
"One of the cities that influenced the design of Putrajaya was Paris, Finace.
"An example of our inspiration would be the Champs-Élysées, the city's main boulevard which cuts across the centre of Paris," he wrote, adding that it was also a shopping and tourist hub.
"However, we did not want Putrajaya to be a carbon copy of Champs-Élysées, nor did we want it to be filled with government buildings only," the former Prime Minister wrote.
Putrajaya, which was the brainchild of Dr Mahathir, said keeping Putrajaya as a CBD (central business district) would mean a crowded scene during the day but would be deserted after working hours, turning it to a haunt for criminals.
"Therefore, I would suggest to the authorities to perhaps open up more sundry shops and restaurants as well as some entertainment hubs in order to maintain a high density of people around the area at all times," he said.
"Take the New Year celebrations in Putrajaya for example. It had a crowd of 100,000 people entertained with music and dance.
"To my understanding, this form of entertainment is in no way against the ethics of Putrajaya" he wrote.
The controversy arose when rumours of a Hard Rock Cafe would be opened there, leading Muslims NGOs to claim that it was fashioned after the holy city of Medina.
On the controversy relating to the opening a Hard Rock Café franchise in Putrajaya, Dr Mahathir said he had not been to one himself and did not know the kind of entertainment provided there.
"I do not approve of nude dancers and alcohol. However, if the establishment can accommodate some decent entertainment, I do not see the harm of having an outlet here in Putrajaya," he said.
Dr Mahathir also wrote that Putrajaya Corporation president Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat had brought about significant improvement to Putrajaya and he hoped this progress would continue.
On Sunday, Perkasa Youth said that having a Hard Rock Cafe in Putrajaya would destroy morality and be in conflict with the Islamic design of Malaysia’s administrative capital as alcohol was served there.
Perkasa Youth chief Irwan Fahmi Ideris claimed that Putrajaya was designed after Medina and it would be inappropriate to allow a bar or restaurant to serve liquor and provide wild entertainment.