“Kathleen, I’m so glad to read that you will not take down the mango trees on your Los Islotes property. Integrate them into the housing plan. The Panamanian mango is one of the sweetest in the world. I am biased, though, as I think the mango trees here on the Big Island where I live are really the best.
“Also if you do have to take any tree down, find someone in the surrounding area who is a wood worker. Mango wood can be made into a variety of wonderful wood products.
“Enjoy the clear skies, the grassy fields, the tinkling water of the stream, and the experience of creating a new village. I wish you all the best.”
–John F., United States
‘Kathleen, I wanted to respond to Ralph M.’s inquiry in the Mailbag dated Aug. 3, 2012.
“Although it’s impossible to predict what any government will do in the future, Malaysia’s Sharia laws apply only to ethnic Malays (who are legally Muslim) and other Muslims in Malaysia. Non-Muslims, which include foreign residents as well as large numbers of Malaysian-born Indians and Chinese, are free to drink alcohol, eat pork, dress as they please (within reason), and do other things that would be prohibited by the Sharia laws that Malaysian Muslims are expected to follow. The Malaysian government has stated many times that they strive for a ‘harmonious’ society. It’s unlikely that Sharia law for the entire population is in the country’s future.
“I’m not overly concerned about political instability in Southeast Asia for a couple of reasons. First, as a foreigner, I make a point of avoiding any sort of political involvement in my host country. I see these as internal issues that are best left to those who have a stake in the outcome. Also, it is rare that a political upheaval will affect residents in every corner of the country. When Thailand had its coup in 2006 and large protests in 2008, 2010, and 2011, the problems were almost entirely in Bangkok…and not even all of Bangkok but only specific areas of the city. People who were living in Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, and even the Bangkok suburbs were unaffected. The only real inconvenience that arose for those in the country was the temporary disruption of transportation when air and train services were suspended for a few days in 2008.
“When I was living in Kuala Lumpur, there were a few protests, including one right in my neighborhood. For me, it simply meant changing the route that I took home to avoid any sort of involvement. That was easy, and everything was back to normal the next day.
“I’d also suggest that Hanoi be included when researching retirement destinations in Southeast Asia. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world, and it is very easy on the budget.”
–Wendy Justice, Asia Correspondent
Continue Reading: Emergency Offshore Summit, Day 3