On 1 February 2001, the 4,900-hectare Putra Jaya was declared the third Federal Territory of Malaysia. This new federal administrative hub was built at a cost of some RM2.2 billion and is within the Multimedia Super Corridor.
Putra Jaya is also Malaysia's new, and futuristic, administrative capital containing within it the imposing, Putra Mosque. The mosque, named after the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj, is located beside Dataran Putra fronting the scenic Putra Jaya Lake.
Almost wholly surrounded by water, Putra Mosque also affords a breathtaking view of the lake as well as the Putra Bridge and the Prime Minister's Complex.
To mark the historical event a celebration was held around Putra Jaya and of course the climax of the night was a spectacular firework display!
I was then the Picture Editor of The Star, Malaysia. I went to cover the event with young photographer Sam Tham.
The "viewing stage" was a school overlooking the panoramic splendour of Putra Jaya! To get a better view I decided that we will have to be on the fourth or fifth floor of the school building.
Easier said than done! True to Malaysian's "I am the power to be" behaviour , the "jagah" (guard) at the stairs refused to let us up; media or no media!
What cheesed me off more was I saw Bazuki of Reuters (a "foreign" media :-) Duh!) was up at the fourth floor! Not wanting to be a racist, why was he allowed up and not the "local media"? No amount of talking and begging got us anywhere!
As I said in "Shah Alam By Night", a photographer will go to all length to get the shot he wanted!!
It was then I remembered the picture in my wallet! It is a photo of myself and a very high ranking Minister standing together! I showed that to the "person in charged" and what do you know, we were allowed up!
Some of you might think I am abusing the media power, well; when there is an abuse (the person in charge), there will be an reaction! Hee hee...
Was it worth it? See for yourself!
(Click on the image to enjoy this panorama!)
Before you get ballistic, let me "confess" that this is a "manipulated" picture. It would be impossible to capture the scene other wise!
I included below the sections that made up this panoramic shot.
The first picture "A" was shot during the firework display with multiple exposures to get more than one "blast".
"B" was shot shortly after "A", then "C" was exposed.
"D" of the performing stage was shot with a very "fast" long lens and the picture reduced to paste into the scene. So there!
Like I said, a scene like this CANNOT be shot in just ONE exposure.
All the shots were done with a Canon EOS1n FILM camera with 28-70 and 70-200 lens on Kodak Ektapress 400 film. A steady Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod was used.
The negatives were scanned with a Kodak RFS 2035 scanner, Canon Photo Stitch and Adobe Photoshop were used to put all the images together.
Alas, the picture was NOT used in The Star because "It is TOO LONG!" quote and unquote from a top Editor!
Nothing new really, the way Star's Editors think, that is...
Who was the Minister with me in the wallet picture? Let that be a secret, but like I said; he is very very high up. :-)