The flats in Stulang, Johor Baru, are reportedly turned into a red-light district due to sex workers from China who operate their business there. (image source: Guang Ming Daily)
Blocks of flats located in Stulang, Johor Baru has become a red-light district of sorts, no thanks to a large group of young women who arrived from China to become sex workers here.
Guang Ming Daily reported that the units in 26 middle-and low-cost flats were now occupied by hundreds of young women from China, who operate one-woman brothels - a method of prostitution made famous in Hong Kong - in the units.
Each would rent a unit and operate their 'business' there, claimed residents nearby who wished to remain anonymous.
Potential customers from all parts of Malaysia and even Singapore have been flocking to the area, seeking the women's services.
The residents complained that the flesh trade has caused disruption to their daily lives as well as the social lives.
It has also led to a staggering rise of rentals of the properties there. Rental agents rent the units and later sub-let it to the women at a higher rate.
The women would usually loiter around shopping malls, approaching men and asking questions like: "Are you alone?" and "Do you want a massage?"
Those who are interested would be brought back to the unit for the services.
"I always see a thirtysomething woman leading a fifty-something man from the shopping mall to the flat. You can immediately tell what’s happening," said a source.
A female resident said: "On one occasion the woman was ‘doing it’ with the customer in a unit opposite mine. My son was watching TV in the living room. I didn’t know what to do about it."
Residents who know these women said they had turned to selling themselves after losing their money in businesses or the stock markets. Some are also divorced with children.
"They claimed that they have to support their children and the elders. They have all sorts of reasons, but one thing is for sure: nobody forces them (to prostitute themselves)," said another source, who added that some of the women resort to the flesh trade so that they could send their children for further education in Singapore.
The women also usually approach elderly men eating alone in coffee shops, in the hope of getting a free lunch or tips.
They would sit by them, order food and hope that the men would pick up the bill.
According to a male customer of a local night pub, some women can easily earn up to over RM100 by doing this for a few hours.
A man eating alone in a coffeeshop are surrounded by a group of women from China. (image source: Guang Ming Daily)
The rate of payments for sexual services, is between RM80 and RM100. Regular customers get a discount and only have to pay around RM50 per transaction. If It’s a new prostitute, a charge of RM150 per hour applies.
According to one source, the women, aged between 20 and 40 years old, claimed that they "could not compete with pretty girls (in China)" as they were married before and had kids. So, they come to Malaysia.
A resident said there was a racket helping these women to enter Malaysia and that they had to pay 700 Yuan (approximately RM345) per person. However, this could not be confirmed.
"These China dolls usually hold six-month or one-year visas. They usually take low-cost air transport to Malaysia from Macau. Some fly here from Guangzhou or Xiamen.
"After arriving in Malaysia, they take the bus to Hat Yai, Thailand, to make the payment," said the source.
He also claimed that when the women returned to Malaysia, they would usually bring along one or two girls to join them, leading to the expansion of the prostitution business around the flats.
Provided with these information, a photographer from the daily went undercover and posed as a potential customer in the mall in order to find out more. Below is the conversation that took place between him and one of the women:
Chinese woman (CW): (waving at the photographer) Where are you going?
Photographer (P): I’m just walking around.
CW: Do you want to bring me along?
P: Where to? We can walk together. You can follow me if you want.
CW: Just walking?
P: What else do you want to do?
CW: Do you want to go to my place? It’s just a walking distance of five minutes.
P: Five minutes? Where is it? Is it one of the flats outside?
P: How much?
CW: RM120. Are you coming with me?
P: I am not prepared.
CW: It’s okay. Just come if you want.
P: What’s your name?
CW: Shan Shan. Let’s go?
P: Or I buy you tea.
(The pair walked to the fast food restaurant nearby).
P: How old are you? Where are you from?
CW: I’m born in 1977 and am from Shenyang, Northeast China.
P: Why did you come here?
CW: It’s hard to make a living in China.
P: What were you doing in China?
CW: My family sells clothes.
P: How did you end up here? How did you find out about here?
CW: My friend brought me here. Do you want to come with me?
P: I’m very nervous and not ready.
CW: Once you are in the room, we can talk and the feelings will come.
P: How much is the rental of your unit?
P: Seems expensive.
CW: This is the rate for us. It’d be cheaper for you guys.
P: Why do you charge RM150 for some customers and RM100 for some?
CW: I charge RM150 when I’m working in night pubs. (During daytime) I charge cheaper.
P: How much is it if it’s for the whole day?
CW: You mean from what time to what time?
P: How about just walking around during daytime and spending the night together?
CW: RM400. This is considered reasonable.
P: Yes, it is.
CW: Let’s go now. Don’t wait for another day.
P: Next time then. You give me your phone number. I will call you the next time I’m here.
CW: You have to do it soon. I’m going back to China in a few days.