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Fat chance

MALAYSIA: Reports suggesting that between 10 and 25 per cent of schoolchildren are obese have prompted Malaysia's education minister to announce plans to introduce a physical fitness test for primary and lower secondary pupils. They will be measured for physical strength, flexibility and fitness.

The proposal comes with the realisation that more and more children are watching sports rather than doing them. But the couch potatoes will have their day of reckoning. From 1999 the fitness test results will be recorded on the same certificates as exam grades.

The minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, was keen to stress that the results would not jeopardise a student's future. However, he did suggest that unsatisfactory performance should require remedial action by parents and society.

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