Doesn't ring a bell. There was opposition from the civilian side as large scale works would drive labour costs up.Was Percival not the guy who opposed the buidling of defensive positions, reasoning that, building defensive field works would be bad for morale and would give the wrong impression to the civilansor so?
Percival was chief of staff to Dobbie, GOC Malaya in 36-7. It was Percival's assessment of the avenues for Japanese attack that went into the letter that Dobbie sent to CIGS Gort in May '38, where Percival had identified that an invasion of Northern Malaya and overland campaign was possible, and that the Malayan jungle was passable. Wikipedia says that Percival "supported Dobbie's unexecuted plan for the construction of fixed defences in Southern Johore."