With the world's media focusing their attention on Hong Kong, you'd better not let any camera crew catch you off guard yawning, picking your nose or clipping your toenails on the MTR. After all, there are 8,000-plus overseas journalists in town and who knows where and when they will pop up and zoom their lenses on your face? Who knows what they are going to do with their footage? For all we know, the voice-over for the yawning clip may be: 'The British colony returns to Chinese rule today but no one cares.' Mind you, that is probably true. We have all heard about Hong Kong being misrepresented by journalists who know practically nothing about the place. Since last month, our department has been flooded with calls from overseas reporters who think we are a telephone directory or the Government Information Services. All have bizarre images of Hong Kong, whose colonial history ends next week. Worse still are reporters who would, at length, coax the locals into saying things that would fit their stories. A friend was hired recently by a British media organisation as an interpreter for a day. She quit half way through because the producer was too eager to find what was not there. According to my friend, if housewife Mrs Wong failed to say, 'oh, I hate the British', a line the producer wanted for her programme, then it was: 'Cut, next.' It was a bit like running a mobile audition rather than a vox pop. And these people are supposed to be reporting the truth. Of course, the world has long formed its own ideas on what Hong Kong should be like, partly thanks to some extremely creative novelists. Not so long ago, I wrote an upfront review of a novel that was supposed to be about the territory by a well-known travel writer. It was a terrible piece of work that reinforced stereotypes associated with Hong Kong and offered nothing new or interesting. Weeks later a letter (which was almost as long as my book review) landed on my desk. It read: 'Is Mr Kwong suggesting that novels about Hong Kong should be sent through some kind of sanitising censor, like the Hong Kong Tourist Association or Xinhua [the New China News Agency], so that nothing negative about the place reaches the world in the run-up to the handover?' Huh?!? Actually, it is fine by me if people want to portray Hong Kong as the world of Suzie Wong, where the streets are crawling with prostitutes and triads. But what is the point? It is like saying Australia is still a colony of racist ex-convicts and England is full of perverted vicars running after choirboys. At least novels are fiction. However, I cannot but help noticing that some overseas journalists are, well, doing the same. Here is, by far, the best example that a colleague has discovered on the wire news services this week. Note: this story was distributed around the world. The headline reads, 'Hong Kong: we don't want Chinese immigrants here' and the article was written by Sabine Heimgaertner. The story gives readers an extraordinary insight into the territory that has left our jaws dropping. Its first paragraph reads: 'Hong Kong Police Commissioner Charles Parker knows exactly what he does not want - a flood of Chinese immigrants coming into Hong Kong after its handover to China on July 1.' Who on earth is Charles Parker? I thought the Hong Kong police commissioner was someone named Eddie Hui Ki-on. Did she mean Chinese illegal immigrants? But there is more. 'Although there is now a direct train between Peking and Hong Kong, passengers must step down and have their papers rigorously inspected, since the Chinese need a visa for Hong Kong and can only get one by invitation.' I see, the mainlanders come down to party. 'The journey is easier for Hong Kongers, which has led to many men having a second wife or even another family on the other side of the border. Cynics label this rebirth of concubinism 'one land, two wives', in place of the adjunct 'one land, two systems', which spells out Hong Kong's future.' Dear reader, chain up your spouse. For the journey between Hong Kong and Macau (and indeed many parts of the world) is just as easy. Perhaps I should start collecting these stories and, with luck, I shall be able to cash in with a pointless but commercial Hong Kong novel about the city being swamped by Communist illegal immigrants looking for Filipina call girls in Wan Chai bars.