The order to obese policemen to trim the fat or risk not being promoted has hit a raw nerve, with one inspector responding bluntly that they were overworked to the point of obesity.

The inspector in his early 30s, who identified himself only as Musa, said officers like him gained weight due to their hectic work schedule.

“Of course being healthy and fit is crucial as a policeman, but we work almost 24 hours a day sometimes.

“We don’t even have time to rest, let alone have a proper balanced diet.

“We’re overworked to obesity,” the policeman who is based in Sarawak said.

Mr Musa is not alone in his opinion that Bukit Aman was not being fair in penalising obese officers. Other policemen interviewed by The Malaysian Insider said the directive from the federal police headquarters should be applied across the board, including the top brass.

On Thursday (Jan 7), Police director of management Zulkifli Abdullah said overweight policemen will have to undergo a training programme to get fit as obese officers risked not getting promoted or confirmed if they did not lose weight.

He was reported by The Star as saying the force had some 11,000 obese policemen, and that was a “conservative number”.

For a start, 35 chubby policemen have been selected to participate in the pilot weight-loss programme called “Trim N Fit”.

A sergeant from Shah Alam, Rahman Kassim (not his real name) felt the directive should not apply to officers aged over 50 years.

“It is not suitable for old timers like us. It is difficult (to have to lose weight),” said the man, who suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and gout.

The get-fit programme is more suitable for new or younger cops, he added.

Mr Rahman said the last time he worked out was two to three months ago when he participated in a physical exercise programme.

He said he was no longer thinking about promotions since he was going to retire from the force in another year and a half.

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