KUWAIT: The question of ethics does not arise in bringing Halliburton, the controversial US-based multinational, to invest in Malaysia, said Iskandar Regional Development Authority chief executive officer Datuk Ikmal Hijaz Hashim.
“Whose ethics are you referring to? Which value judgment 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 told local reporters here, adding that Malaysia should be open.
“Halliburton is investing in oil and gas and we have are happy to have them there.
“We should invite investment as long as it bring benefits to the country. It may not be 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).”
The American oil and gas company opened a RM200mil manufacturing centre in Iskandar Malaysia in late March.
The facility, covering 20,000 sq m in Johor Technology Park, undertakes 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 has operations in more than 120 countries including Iraq. Its main business is providing technical products and services for oil and gas exploration and production.
It has been in the news not only for turning in huge profits, but for 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.
The company benefited the most from the March 2003 war in Iraq, obtaining the bulk of oil and gas contracts there.
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.
There is also Halliburton Watch set up to keep tabs on the company.
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