PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 March, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 March, 2003, 12:00am

Q What do you think of Raymond Wong's reports from the Gulf?

At the time when so many people want to tune in to find some glimmer of the real picture in the Middle East, I find that the reporters stationed in the Middle East by TVB inadequate.

While Raymond Wong may be a senior reporter, I think he should be on the sidelines, not in front of the camera, due to his slow speech and idiosyncratic reports.

I laughed out loud when I saw the news report the first evening that the TVB team reported to us live; not only because of their obvious inexperience but also because it seemed like they were sightseeing. It seems like the news reports have slightly improved since the first couple, but it is sad that the Post received fan mail that said they tune in 'in particular to see what he [Wong] is wearing'. It is also ridiculous if reporters are making the news, not reporting it. And while I'm at it, can you tell me why Hong Kong's English channels have so little variety in reporters, so few critical analyses on current affairs programmes and why we have to wait for eight seconds for Freddie to walk out to give the weather!

Z. Nielsen, Sai Kung

I was astonished by Mr Wong's appearance on TV as I don't think it is appropriate for him to be involved in the actual news reporting.

Why would he do such a strange thing? To show off? To have some fun? To give himself a good memory? ... ALL OF THEM!

More importantly, the quality of news reporting may worsen as his colleagues suffer from the pressure. They may find constraints in the way they report. One may also notice that he just did the 'tag-and-intro' job like - 'let's see what happens next' or 'our colleagues will have more details on the issue' - without actually reporting what had happened at Kuwait City. After all, audiences only care about the content of the news that the reporters deliver. Unfortunately, he by no means met our needs!

Name and Address Supplied

I like him. It's a bit like hearing your neighbour give a report.

Name and Address Supplied

Q Should the labelling of GM foods be mandatory in Hong Kong?

Nobody knows what effects the release of genetically modified organisms will have on the environment or on human health. For this reason, many governments around the world have introduced mandatory labelling legislation granting consumers the basic right of choice about their food intake. Mainland China has such legislation in place in order to protect its consumers.

But not Hong Kong. Two years ago a clear majority of Legco members agreed on the need for a mandatory labelling system. Three major surveys on Hong Kong consumer attitudes to GM food since 1999 have indicated strong public support for mandatory labelling.

However, the Hong Kong government has placed no restrictions on the import of food products containing genetically engineered ingredients and will officially confirm its decision to legislate only for voluntary labelling at this Thursday's Legco debate on the issue. In doing this, the government is completely abrogating its responsibility to protect its consumers.

The government has allowed the spread of GM foods on to the Hong Kong market to such an extent that it is now the dumping ground for products containing GM ingredients which have been turned away by other countries.

The government cites excessive implementation costs as the reason for its decision.

The excessive costs it refers to would be up to $5 million for government monitoring, sampling and administration, with the rest of the estimated $85-90 million being borne by the GM food producers, food processors and biotech companies - the very people who stand to make huge profits. The government needs to be pushed to answer the question: 'Why are you placing commercial interests above those of consumers?'

The cost of implementing a mandatory labelling system could be compared to the price of five luxury Mid-Levels mansions for Monsanto and Nestle executives.

Martin Baker,

Greenpeace China

Q Is Hong Kong a rip-off city?

My wife Sherry and I toured your beautiful city this week. We were in Hong Kong for four days on vacation. We had a wonderful time and the people were very friendly to us. Unfortunately, we were also victims of a camera rip-off on Nathan Road. One of the many slick salesmen we talked to sold us on a reasonable deal for a Sony Cybercam digital camera, and then at the last minute talked us into a more expensive Fuji film product. We purchased this F201 camera, only to discover the next day that the camera software was in Japanese only. There was no optical zoom lens, and the camera's mega pixels were not as promised.

Thanks to your feature article on camera rip-offs in the March 10 edition, we knew exactly what to do. I contacted the Hong Kong Consumer Council and it assigned one of its investigators, Dorothy Mak. At the end of the day, Mrs Mak had arranged for the store to take back the camera and replace it with the one we wanted, with the features promised and at a price Sony said was fair.

Thanks to your newspaper and the Consumer Council, my wife and I returned home with great memories of our vacation in Hong Kong. My wife and I are looking forward to our next visit.

Michael and Sherry Wilson,