THE Perak government confirmed that the cabinet has approved the construction of the 60-km West Ipoh Span Expressway (WISE) linking Gopeng with Kuala Kangsar yesterday (Dec 13).
Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad said the cost of implementing the project will be fully borne under the Private Financing Initiative.
“WISE is an approach to resolving the traffic woes at the North-South Expressway (NSE), especially when an accident occurs at Menora Tunnel and highway users don’t have other alternatives apart from using the federal road in Sungai Siput.
“With WISE, motorists could use the alternative route from Gopeng to Kuala Kangsar to avoid traffic congestion whenever there is an accident at the Menora Tunnel,” he said when met by reporters after opening the Perak Economic Outlook 2024 programme at Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan in Ipoh today.
Saarani noted that the state government will give its full cooperation to implement the project, including land acquisition from the state Lands and Mines Office.
He also added that the state government is optimistic that the opening of WISE will have a positive impact apart from complementing the West Coast Expressway (WCE).
“WISE will stimulate the state as a major portion of WCE has been opened to the public. As such, it will complement each other.”
On Sept 16, Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA) chairperson Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias stated that the construction of WISE was in the final stage of negotiation and would be finalised by December.
In another development, Saarani claimed that the state government is proposing to develop a non-radioactive rare earth element (NR-REE) laboratory in Simpang Pulai, Ipoh, subject to the approval of the Natural Resources and Sustainability Ministry.
Moreover, he pointed out the location is seen as suitable because it is fully owned by Menteri Besar Incorporated (MB Inc) which is also one of the mandatory agencies for the development of the NR-REE project in Perak.
“Currently, we have submitted the application and paperwork related to the development of this laboratory to the ministry and hopefully this (approval) process will be successful and we can start.
“This laboratory is shared between MB Inc, the Perak State Agricultural Development Corporation, and the Perak State Development Corporation,” he said at a programme attended by more than 700 participants that aimed at focusing on efforts to increase the state’s economic growth. – Dec 14, 2023