Scare tactic works a treat at QE

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 November, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 November, 1994, 12:00am

AS JAPANESE star Ryuichi Sakamoto warmed up for the first of his two concerts earlier this month at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, a group of Filipinos gathered at the venue's entrance.

Each carried a stack of handbills advertising concerts by American singer Cyndi Lauper (below) at the QE on November 28 and 29, which they were handing out to members of the audience as they arrived at the venue.

The Arena Group, which was putting on the Sakamoto event, was unimpressed since the Lauper gigs were to be staged by the rival Entertainment Company.

A security officer was sent down to disperse the ladies and, wishing to avoid an unpleasant scene, he decided to use a softly-softly approach.

He told them he was from the Immigration Department and demanded to see their ID cards to make sure they had the right to work in Hong Kong. Exit Filipinos left, right and centre, leaving a stack of handbills in their wake.

BACK in the 1980s, when China was still a closed society, a senior manager at one of Beijing's joint-venture hotels decided to do his bit to open up Sino-British relations.

Tired and emotional after an evening on the tiles, he got into a hotel lift with a pretty Chinese woman. Somehow the lift got stuck, and as they waited to be rescued the couple decided to get to know each other better.

When the lift reached the ground floor the couple were surrounded by Public Security Bureau officers who had watched their tryst on security cameras.

Sobering rapidly, the manager, who later worked at a leading Kowloon hotel, was taken to a police station and charged. A few hours later he was released and he returned to his apartment feeling very humble indeed. The story spread like wildfire through the small expatriate community and later that day the then British ambassador, Sir Alan Donald, called.

'I want you to know that the embassy is right behind you on this,' Sir Alan assured him, adding: 'By the way, old chap. You did the British proud - normally it's the French and the Italians who get up to this sort of thing.' IT WAS probably more by accident than design, but the prize-giving at the Interior Design Awards in the Grand Hyatt last week turned into something of a farce.

As staff with M. Moser Associates waited proudly to be called up for the corporate-interiors prize, a slide show illustrated their work on National Westminster's plush new Times Square offices. But afterwards the presenters said it had been done by Bourne Design.

After the audience's horror had turned to embarrassing laughter, the presenters compounded their error by repeating it.

Then a student's winning design was mysteriously illustrated by a totally irrelevant picture of a giant Buddha. The student was introduced as Miss Crystal when the prize was called, but again the audience dissolved as Crystal turned out to be a young man called Christo.

SOCIALITE and charity fund-raiser Diane Butler has announced she and husband Alf are leaving Hong Kong next month to live in Malta.

The sleepy Mediterranean isle might seem a perverse choice for Butler, once a high-profile fixture on the charity ball and cocktail party circuit. But speaking on Ralph Pixton's Open Line on Radio 3 yesterday, Butler said she had renounced her former lifestyle.

Calling Hong Kong an 'unreal' place, she said in Malta 'I will be taken for what I am and not what I look like', adding that life among Hong Kong's glitterati 'is not good for you'.