Kedah has been urged to issue a moratorium to prevent logging or sand mining in a forest reserve in Langkawi, fearing the worst effects of climate change in the area.
Langkawi Pejuang youth chief Alif Aiman Azam said a petition with 13,560 names had been collected online against activity in the Gunung Raya area.
The Gunung Raya forest reserve spans over 5,000ha and is home to the tallest mountain of the same name at 881m.
Alif said the range was home to thriving flora and fauna, which should be left untouched, in line with Langkawi being recognised as a Unesco Geopark.
“The people of Langkawi do not want any logging or mining licences to be approved in Gunung Raya forever,” he said in a statement.
Last month, menteri besar Sanusi Md Nor said the administration of his predecessor, Mukhriz Mahathir, had approved 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 April 23, 2020, he told the state assembly.
Sanusi said he had never issued any logging licence since taking over as menteri besar in May 2020.
Mukhriz had earlier asked in the state assembly about an offer by the Kedah government to a private company for logging or mining in the Gunung Raya forest reserve.