Foreign capital, particularly from the transnational electronics industries, has spurred urban growth in Penang, Malaysia. But the demand for labour-quantitative and qualitative-exceeds its supply from the northern states. Local and national labour policies are decided without the involvement of trade unions, which lack the strength to substantially improve wages or influence the institutions of the labour market. So a frenzied labour market tries to balance the upgrading of skills and the control of wages. The paper concludes that a focus on sustainable urbanisation will renew the debate on urban, export-oriented industrialisation in South-east Asia.
|Journal||Third World Planning Review|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|