PRIME Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday unveiled a model of a M$20 billion (HK$62 billion) lake-front garden city, which will be the administrative headquarters of the federal government in the next century, in a drum-accompanied ceremony at the site 25 kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur. Named Putrajaya in honour of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, the prime minister who guided Malaysia to independence, the new government centre and commercial and residential developments will form with Kuala Lumpur and a new international airport a 'megacity' in the mould of Tokyo-Yokohama in Japan. Dr Mahathir said the Government also aimed to make Putrajaya the centre of a multi-media super corridor 40 km long and 15 km wide between Kuala Lumpur and the new airport at Sepang, which would become a noted information hub for the region. Putrajaya was the culmination of the nation's achievement in creating a Malaysian identity that reflected its culture while promoting development in line with the country's economic goals, the Prime Minister said. The centrepiece of Putrajaya is a 15-metre stainless steel tower in the shape of a national flag draped around a flagpole. The tower's designer is a Malaysian, Hijjas Kasturi, as are all those involved in its development. Dr Mahathir said he felt proud that Putrajaya was planned and would be built by Malaysians. The buildings in the model of the futuristic city reflect the Moorish trend of older buildings in Kuala Lumpur, while the country's predominantly Islamic identity is highlighted by a mosque in the centre of the lake. Putrajaya will be built on 4,400 hectares of land. Construction is expected to begin at the end of the year. The first phase, comprising buildings for the Prime Minister's Department, finance ministry and other government agencies, will be completed in 2000. The second and final phase will be completed in 2008. The garden city, which will house 250,000 public servants, will have a stadium, a tramway and ferries on the lake. An express rail service will link Putrajaya with Kuala Lumpur and the new international airport. In the residential area, 17,500 houses will be constructed for the use of government staff while the same number of units will be built for sale to civil servants and the public. Dr Mahathir said taxpayers would share the costs of the project with other revenue sources.