PATTEN ''It is a grim beginning of the new year.'' - The Governor Chris Patten after 20 revellers died in the crush in Lan Kwai Fong during the new year celebrations MACLEOD ''If the differences of opinion go on for many months and are at a high levelof visibility . . . then it begins to affect new investments.'' - Financial Secretary Hamish Macleod. NUNN ''While the rhetoric is often positive, in reality too often information is not shared, documents are not accessible, and efforts to locate criminals do not receive international assistance.'' - Sam Nunn, chairman of a US Senate sub-committee, which criticised global efforts to fight triads. ASPREY ''I thought it was a very speculative and unsubstantiated allegation.'' - Secretary for Security Alistair Asprey, commenting on claims by the same committee that Hongkong officials would co-operate less for fear of angering Beijing. NICOLL ''Of course, saying he is Man of the Year is not to say in any sense that he is a saint.'' - Alexander Nicoll, Asia editor of the London Financial Times which named Deng Xiaoping as its Man of the Year. NG ''I am very sad about his death. But I feel better knowing that my son has helped others.'' - Ng Wing-nin, appealing for organs to be made available for transplant. He gave permission in the case of his son, who died following a road accident. LAM ''It is a problem that everyone should be concerned about. Not because they are infected, but because people living or working with them might be carriers.'' - Dr Vincent Lam of AIDS Concern, after the news that Hongkong now has between 4,000 and 7,000HIV virus carriers. OBSERVER ''This was not what I had expected. There was a mountain right there, seconds later is this big heap of sand and earth. It may be broken up, but there is still a mountain.'' - Spectator at the destruction of Paotai Mountain in Zhuhai. Eleven thousand tonnes of dynamite were used during a controlled explosion. CHEUNG ''Perhaps something has gone too far, too fast, and Beijing will not just sit and watch, at least not for now.'' - Entrepreneur David Cheung, whose plans for a greyhound stadium on the mainland may be hit by China's abrupt ban on racing. LIBERATION ARMY DAILY ''Everyone is agreed: when soldiers use such things as facial moisturising milk, their mood improves. Soldiers may also seek to be beautiful and to protect their skin.'' - Comment from the mouthpiece newspaper of the mainland militarycommand. DIMAGILA ''We have no bad intentions. This is God's order to let out the air. Air is from God. This is the solution to the crisis in our country.'' - Honora Dimagila, one of 32 members of The Reserved Manpower of the Good Wisdom for all Nations, arrested in Manila for deflating car tyres.