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South East Asia meltdown hits jobs

ECONOMIC TURMOIL in South East Asia is forcing British consultants to repatriate staff rapidly as infrastructure projects are axed and fears grow that fees will not be paid.

Firms in hard-hit Malaysia and Indonesia said last month that they expected to feel the effect of cancellations as well as property developer collapses and weakening investment, with some having written off chances of a recovery before 1999.

Malaysia has already shelved high profile projects such as the Bakun dam and a regional airport in the north of the country. But the government has now also launched a campaign to encourage employers to sack foreign staff and replace them with locals.

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