Legislator calls for height regulations to be scrapped

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, May 29, 2013 - Page 4

The minimum height requirement for police officers, firefighters, investigators and coast guard personnel in national special examinations should be removed, as it is a form of discrimination and a requirement without scientific basis, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) said yesterday.

Although height restrictions have been removed from most national examinations in Taiwan, the minimum requirement is still applicable for police officers, firefighters, National Investigation Bureau officials, Coast Guard Administration personnel, as well as military personnel, Tuan told a press conference.

For example, male applicants for police examinations must be at least 1.65m in height and female applicants should be at least 1.6m tall. Volunteer soldiers must be at least 1.52m tall, while military honor guards are required to be 1.78m in height.

According to the National Police Agency, the height restriction was established as police officers are supposed to look “strong and imposing.”

However, Tuan said that the agency could not explain why the minimum requirement was lowered to 1.58m for Aboriginal male applicants and 1.55m for Aboriginal female applicants.

The government could also not explain why different height requirements were applied to different examinations, he said.

“The expertise required for the various civil servants has nothing to do with height. Height should not be an issue for national examinations,” Tuan said.