Curbs urged on comic's knife handouts

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 January, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 January, 2000, 12:00am

The Government has been urged to curb comic book promotions in which toy knives are given away.

And the Newspaper Hawkers Association is urging all 2,000 vendors to boycott the forthcoming issue of Biohazard, a weekly comic book with a circulation of 60,000.

The magazine gave away a 20cm steel knife in a previous issue, and will include a 28cm plastic knife in an issue to go on sale on Saturday.

Eddy Chan Yuk-tak, commissioner of the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority, said the watchdog could not stop publishers but was monitoring the trend.

Police said they were aware of the incidents and stressed possession of an offensive weapon was illegal.

Democrat legislator Andrew Cheng Kar-foo urged the Government to curb the offers. He said publishers had initially given out knives imitating those used by comic characters.

He warned that 'their size is getting bigger and bigger and increasingly realistic', and he added that the knives were very sharp, whether made of steel or plastic.

Connie Lau Yin-hin, head of the Consumer Council's Research and Survey Division said under the Toys and Children Safety Ordinance, if the comic book's selling target was children aged under 14, the publishers might be breaching the law.