KUALA LUMPUR: The new requirement for overweight police personnel to pass the Body Mass Index (BMI) test before they can be promoted or confirmed is beneficial for their own well-being, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar today.
"We found out that many of our officers and personnel are not healthy because they are overweight.
"In fact, the number of deaths among our officers due to health complications from being overweight is also high. It is high time we do something about this," he said.
Khalid also quipped that nobody was exempted from the requirements, including himself although he is the inspector-general of police.
He dismissed excuses by some of police officers and personnel who said that they were overweight due to work overload.
"That's just their opinion. I am no health expert to elaborate on this but we just want to make sure that our officers and personnel are in their best state of health," he said.
Last week, Federal police management director Comm Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah revealed that more than 11,000 police officers are currently categorised as overweight.
Following that, Bukit Aman has made it compulsory for police officers to undergo the Body Mass Index (BMI) test before they can be promoted.
During the "Trim N Fit" program launch on Jan 7, Zulkifli said, in the past five years, 250 police officers died due to health complications including heart attack, high blood pressure, and diabetes. These complications, he said, could be prevented through better control of diet and a regular exercise.
He further revealed that in 2014, 29,997 police personnel applied for sick leaves. In total, the number of days applied was 241,213 days.
The inaugural six-month program organised in collaboration with the Health Ministry will help police officers involved to cut their weight in a systematic and efficient way.
Thirty five personnel and officers from the Federal police management department will participate in this first pilot project.