AFP

KUALA LUMPUR

Malaysia is putting the heat on overweight police officers, warning them to shape up or miss out on promotions amid estimates that nearly 10 percent of the force is obese. A taste for rich foods has made Malaysia the fattest country in Southeast Asia, according to officials and health experts, and the police force has not been spared. Local media have quoted police officials estimating that nearly 11,000 of the country’s 122,000 police officers were ‘obese’. National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said Wednesday officers will now have to pass a fitness test before they can rise up the ranks, and that a new fitness programme has been introduced for overweight cops. Besides limiting their effectiveness as crime fighters, the problem has led to a ‘high mortality rate caused by diabetes and high blood pressure’ in the corps, Khalid was quoted saying by news portal Malaysiakini.