Decision on WCE opening to be announced on May 20 - Perak MB

IPOH (May 10): The decision on the opening of the three-package West Coast Expressway (WCE) in the state will be announced on May 20, said Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.

"An announcement will be made on May 20 and at least one package (Hutan Melintang to Teluk Intan) will open before Hari Raya and as far as possible, we want to open more than one package for the convenience of users to visit relatives ahead of the festivities.

"We cannot disclose now … wait until May 20 for the official announcement," he told reporters after chairing the Economic Growth Committee Meeting Along the WCE at his office here Thursday.

He was commenting on a report yesterday by Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) director-general Datuk Aziz Abdullah who said that four interchanges along the Banting-Taiping stretch of the WCE which was to be ready before the end of the month, could not be used.

Abdul Aziz said that there was still work that needed to be done to ensure the stretch was safe.

Meanwhile, WCE Sdn Bhd managing director, Datuk Neoh Soon Hiong said the three packages in the state were between 94 and 96 per cent complete.

He said the last part of the project was quite difficult as it relied on other agencies to obtain gazettes from the federal government on the speed limit and security compliance.

"Without the federal gazettes and security compliance, it cannot be open to the public, this is the final phase and we will announce on May 20 whether it is ready or vice-versa," he said.

Commenting on the committee's meeting, Ahmad Faizal said it included discussions on development that needed to be implemented in remote areas in Perak, especially Bagan Datuk, where development in the area was seen to be somewhat lagging behind.

"Opportunities for us to develop areas in remote areas including Teluk Intan, Perak Tengah are quite high considering that our land prices are still lower than in Selangor and Penang," he said.

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