Shape up, Liow tells staff


  • Nation
  • Monday, 13 Apr 2009

PUTRAJAYA: Overweight staff of the Health Ministry have been told to shape up. Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said he was concerned with the rise in obesity, a disease described as the “entry point to all sickness”.

“I have given instructions for staff with weight problems to lose weight. They must measure their BMI (body mass index) and come up with their own plan (to reduce weight).

“This is serious. Obesity among ministry staff is high, more or less the same as the rakyat (an estimated 60% of the population is obese).

“They have to shape up,” he told reporters after visiting the section of Putrajaya Hospital which was damaged in a fire on Saturday.

Liow said an obese person was susceptible to various illnesses, including diabetes and high blood pressure.

“I have directed that the nutritional and food safety departments be strengthened to ensure that measures we take will be supported and implemented by the staff,” he said.

On the key performance indicators (KPIs), Liow said MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat had directed all MCA ministers and deputy ministers to have their KPI recorded, so that it could be monitored closely.

“The Prime Minister will monitor us and the party (MCA) will also monitor us,” he add ed. At the Genting Highlands later, Liow said insurance companies and private hospitals should find a way out of higher hospital charges which have led to premiums being raised.

He said the insurance industry had indicated that some private specialists took advantage of insurance coverage to charge the maximum allowable in the fee schedule for a particular condition.

“At the same time, the hospital component of the bill has also been increasing,” Liow said in his speech at the 13th National Chinese Life Insurance Congress.

This has led to higher premiums set by insurance firms, he added.

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