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Cosmopolitan Sex WorkersWomen and Migration in a Global City$
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Christine B.N. Chin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199890910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199890910.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2020

Making of a “World-Class City”

Making of a “World-Class City”

The State and Transnational Migrant Labor

(p.32) Chapter 2 Making of a “World-Class City”
Cosmopolitan Sex Workers

Christine B. N. Chin

Oxford University Press

Chapter Two discusses Kuala Lumpur’s origin as a 19th century colonial trading settlement and its late 20th century ascendance as a world city on the global arena. In the effort to address key colonial legacies, the postcolonial state implemented a social engineering policy (NEP) that gave way to a neoliberal development path. The state reconfigured use of place and space via employment, urbanisation, and industrialisation policies. Subsequently, the state approved selective entry and employment of low wage transnational migrant men and women in the construction, agriplantation, manufacturing and eventually, services sectors. State liberalization of tourism and education sectors to maintain the city’s competitive identity paradoxically created additional migratory pathways for unauthorized workers. As a global city, KL’s specialization in ‘advanced producer services’ is accompanied also by specialization in ‘personal services’, inclusive of ‘personal sexual services’ performed by transnational migrant women.

Keywords:   NEP, Urbanisation, Competitive identity, Kuala Lumpur, Staging post, Advanced producer services, Personal services, Migrant labour, Migratory pathways, Neoliberal development

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