KUWAIT: There is no ethical question involved in bringing Halliburton, the controversial US multinational, to invest in Malaysia, said the Iskandar Regional Development Authority chief executive officer Datuk Ikmal Hijaz Hashim.
“Halliburton is investing in oil and gas and we have are happy to have them there (in Iskandar Malaysia),” he told local reporters here.
Asked on concerns about the ethics of having a company like Halliburton in Iskandar, Ikmal said: “Whose ethics are you referring to? Which value judgement are you using?
"If they bring in investment and create jobs, I don’t see any ethical questions on that. I am not too sure which yardstick you are using.”
He said Malaysia should be open.
“We should invite investment as long as it bring benefits to the country. It may not bring good taste to other countries - I am not too sure. But I would not like to be involved in that area (good taste or not),” he added.
In late March, American oil and gas company Halliburton opened an RM200mil manufacturing centre in Iskandar Malaysia (formerly known as Iskandar Development Region).
The 20,000 sq m facility in Johor Technology Park performs procurement and customer service activities as well as engineering, machining and product assembly primarily for customers in the Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Europe Eurasia regions.
Halliburton is a US-based multinational corporation with operations in more than 120 countries including Iraq. Its main business is providing technical products and services for the oil and gas exploration and production.
It has also been in the news for turning in huge profits as well as a number of political controversies involving its work for the US Government, its political ties, and its corporate ethics.
Halliburton has close ties with US Vice-President Dick Cheney who used to be with the company until he assumed his present political post. Halliburton benefited greatly from the war in Iraq and got the bulk of oil and gas contracts there after the US invasion.
There have been a number of complaints about Halliburton including unlawfully receiving special treatment for work in Iraq and abuse of contract, fraud and overcharging.
Some of these cases are still under FBI and Pentagon investigations.
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