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Overweight Malaysia cops feel the burn

Kuala Lumpur

HUFFING and puffing, sweat-soaked Malaysian police officer Mohamad Ra'ayim Jemahir strains in hot pursuit of an elusive quarry: a fit physique.

Panting on an exercise bike, the 102-kilogramme Mr Ra'ayim is among thousands of overweight Malaysian officers who have been ordered to slim down amid concern that fast-expanding waistlines could limit their crime-fighting abilities.

The Royal Malaysian Police says about 11,000 of its 122,000 officers - nearly 10 per cent - are overweight, causing rising health-related absenteeism and costing millions of dollars in lost productivity.

Top brass warned last month that cops could miss out on future promotions if they fail to shape up, and are now...

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