Gunung Raya, the tallest mountain on the island, is part of Southeast Asia’s first UNESCO Global Geopark.
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Langkawi locals have launched a petition to save Gunung Raya from virgin rainforest logging and sand mining.
The online petition is addressed to Permodalan Kedah Berhad, Menteri Besar Kedah, Pejabat Pengarah Tanah Dan Galian Negeri Kedah, Forestry Department Kedah/ Peninsular Malaysia, Department of Environment/ Ministry of Environment And Water, Langkawi’s Member of Parliament Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Kedah.
The Save Gunung Raya Langkawi petition has gathered 15,483 signatures and counting at the time of writing.
Gunung Raya is part of Southeast Asia’s first UNESCO Global GEOPARK, 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.
Free Malaysia Today reported that the Gunung Raya forest reserve spans over 5,000ha and is home to the tallest mountain at 881m.
Langkawi Pejuang youth chief Alif Aiman Azam said the mountain range should be left untouched, in line with Langkawi’s Unesco Geopark status.
Logging and mining works will threaten the rich ecosystem and hundreds of species of flora and fauna on the island.
Based on an Instagram post by Save Gunung Raya, logging and sand mining have seemingly started with an excavator seen entering the mountain.
The issue was raised early this year by Jawatankuasa Pembangunan dan Keselamatan Kampung (JPKK) Kampung Kumpulan.
JPKK together with some local villagers signed and sent a petition addressed to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to protest logging activities in the area in February 2022.
In May 2022, menteri besar Sanusi Md Nor said his predecessor’s administration, Mukhriz Mahathir, had approved the logging and sand mining in Gunung Raya.
Two compartments of land measuring 40ha were approved for logging and mining for Yayasan Islam Negeri Kedah on 23 April 2020, Free Malaysia Today reported.
Sanusi said he had never issued any logging license since taking over the menteri besar post in May 2020.