Dec. 18, 2012

"Kathleen, I read your article "The Most Interesting Retirement Spot You've Never Heard Of' on the home page of yahoo recently.

"While most of this article is rather complimentary toward Kuching and Malaysia in general, there are some inaccuracies.

"You say, for example: 'Since Malaysia does not have any medical schools, all physicians practicing medicine here have received their education abroad, mainly in the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the U.S.'

"This is completely untrue and extremely offensive to Kuching and Malaysia as a whole. Malaysia has several medical schools, including the University Malaya medical center, first medical school in Malaysia, established 1959.

"Accurate research should be done before making such degrading misstatements about places. Chances are very good that some public officials in Malaysia have already seen this article. This article was shared via facebook and seen by many people who live in Kuching.

"By the way, just for accuracy, while Kuching may not have much violent crime, it does have issues with car thefts, and at least once a year Indonesia burns down fields for palm oil plantations, which creates unsafe air conditions which could be dangerous for the elderly. While Kuching may be safer than most places in America, it has its share of problems and issues to deal with as it continues to Westernize, which it has done rapidly during the last 10 years. Law enforcement also needs major improvements in Kuching.

"Other than that, yes, Kuching is a great inexpensive place to retire. The people are nice, and I love the food. I might be living there within a couple years.

"I highly suggest someone make some corrections to this article. Not to add negative information, but to fix the misconceptions.

"Just my 2 cents, from a guy who has traveled many places in Asia."

--Robert Z., United States

Asia Correspondent Wendy Justice, whose complete guide to retirement in Kuching is featured in this month's issue of our Overseas Retirement Letter, responds:

Thanks for the feedback. You are correct. There are medical schools in Malaysia, but none that offer a degree that would equate to a Medical Doctor degree. In other words, it is not possible to become a doctor at a medical school in Malaysia.

You could get a degree in nursing or various other technical specialties that would require a bachelor's degree or an advanced degree in a health-related field, but there is no actual medical school that would reward students with a doctorate degree to practice medicine. So it is accurate to say that all physicians practicing medicine in Malaysia have received their education abroad.

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