PETALING JAYA - The days of pot-bellied policemen are a thing of the past, if the Malaysian Home Ministry can help it.
The law enforcers, along with other uniformed agencies under the ministry, will be whipped into shape with an ideal Body Mass Index (BMI) target.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said a strict fitness regime for its frontliners was important as "they have to catch criminals".
"Besides health-related programmes, the ministry will also perform random checks to ensure police personnel have good BMIs," he said yesterday.
"The frontliners carry the image of the agencies they represent; it is important for them to be fit."
Dr Ahmad Zahid was commenting on the Youth and Sports Ministry's "Gym Makes Me Fit & Healthy 2013" programme to ensure its personnel lost weight and improved on their overall fitness by November.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the programme would be extended to cover administrative personnel in enforcement agencies later.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar also lauded the "Gym Makes Me Fit" programme.
"It encourages good health and fitness and it is also important for the police personnel," he said.
"We do have an in-house sports council to organise sports events and other healthy activities for our personnel regularly," he said after closing the IGP Ten-Pin Bowling Cup event at Sri Petaling yesterday, citing the tournament as testing his personnel's focus besides fostering team building.
"We should encourage our men and women to take part in sports they are interested in and if they are good, they can represent the country at international sporting events."