Ian Woodward, director of public affairs at British Aerospace, which has defence contracts worth pounds 300m with Malaysia, said: 'We very much understand the Malaysian viewpoint. The press reports have been both ill-
informed and tendentious. We are looking towards the media to be a bit more responsible.'
A spokesman for Balfour Beatty, one of the Pergau contractors, said: 'We are obviously extremely disappointed if any further opportunities for the participation in the development of Malaysia are barred to us.'
Trafalgar House, also involved in the dam project and until yesterday a contractor on the pounds 2.3bn airport scheme, said: 'British jobs will certainly be lost because quite a lot of the work would have been done in the UK. We have spent a great deal of time and effort building up relations, and this is a sad and serious matter.'