The West Coast Expressway is set to further boost the commercial development in southern Perak, making it possible for goods to be transported speedily to Port Klang and hence overseas markets while lifting the tourism industry in Teluk Intan.
In 2014, the Perak state government proposed the Southern Perak Development Region and the plan instantly attracted the attention and broad discussions among local businesses in southern Perak.
Drawn with the Iskandar Malaysia Masterplan for southern Johor as a reference, this development masterplan is expected to cost billions of ringgit and will cover areas such as Teluk Intan, Batang Padang district, Slim River, Tanjung Malim all the way to the border between Hilir Perak district and the state of Selangor. This entire area has a combined population of approximately 420,000.
Lower Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Datuk Alan Chuah says once the project is put into implementation, the local economy will receive a major boost.
He says the West Coast Expressway will link several strategic highways in the state and this will facilitate further commercial and industrial expansion in the future while facilitating transportation from Selangor through Teluk Intan and further north. Local businesses can easily transport their goods from here to Port Klang and from there to overseas destinations. The tourism industry in Teluk Intan and Sitiawan will also be boosted by the construction of the West Coast Expressway.
Robust housing demand
Chuah points out that most of the development in Hilir Perak district has been centered around the town of Teluk Intan, which boasts relatively more developed infrastructure than surrounding areas. There are several colleges, medical schools, community colleges and the proposed teachers’ training university in Teluk Intan, along with two of the country’s largest undergarment factories, a massive frozen food processing plant, palm oil refinery and Tanjung Malim Proton City.
Following the establishment of the medical colleges, community college and upcoming teachers’ training university, the population of Teluk Intan is expected to rise further. Real estate development sector will see tremendous business opportunities as there is still enormous space for housing demands.
Chuah analyzes that the Perak Amanjaya Masterplan will emphasize the development of tourism industry. There are plenty of green attractions in Teluk Intan, Batang Padang and Slim River, such as Sungai Perak, the Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan, Buddhist temples, natural waterfalls and other ecotourism sites.