Local residents in Langkawi have launched a petition online to call on the government to leave Gunung Raya forest reserve untouched.
The online petition is addressed to Permodalan Kedah Berhad, Menteri Besar Kedah, Pejabat Pengarah Tanah Dan Galian Negeri Kedah, Forestry Department Kedah/Peninsular Malaysia, Ministry of Environment And Water, Langkawi’s Member of Parliament Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Kedah.
At the time of writing, the petition has gathered over 15,000 signatures.
Gunung Raya is part of Southeast Asia’s first UNESCO Global GEOPARK and it was chosen due to its geological importance to the region and conservation of nature. The mountain is 220 million years old and is home to a diverse ecosystem with wildlife.
The Gunung Raya forest reserve is also home to the tallest mountain at 881m and it spans over 5,000ha.
Meanwhile, Langkawi Pejuang youth chief Alif Aiman Azam has also urged the state government to halt its plans on the forest reserve.
However, an Instagram post by Save Gunung Raya suggests that logging and sand mining have seemingly started with an excavator seen entering the mountain.
Earlier this year, the matter also raised by Jawatankuasa Pembangunan dan Keselamatan Kampung (JPKK) Kampung Kumpulan.
The group had gathered signatures from the local villagers to send a petition to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to protest logging activities in the area in February 2022.
However, Menteri Besar Sanusi Md Nor said the logging and sand mining project in Gunung Raya was approved by his predecessor’s administration, Mukhriz Mahathir.
According to FMT, the 2 compartments of land measuring 40ha were approved for logging and mining for Yayasan Islam Negeri Kedah on 23 April 2020.
Sanusi said he had never issued any logging license ever since he took over the Menteri Besar post in May 2020.