James Tien Pei-chun, chairman of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, has clear ly devoted time and energy to the problem of passports. He was born in China but does not carry a Chinese passport. He and fellow business people asked a lawyer in 1986 to investigate a scheme which could get them Canadian passports for US$100,000 each, he once told reporters. In 1987, before a Canadian passport had come through, he obtained a passport for Mauritius for just US$50,000. In 1989, Tien was quoted in the Oriental Daily News saying that a Mauritius passport was convenient, since you did not have to stay there before being granted right of abode. It was thus better than a UK passport. Things then turned unpleasant for the law-abiding Mr Tien from the Canadian angle. He was among former clients of Toronto lawyer Martin Pilzmaker. The lawyer faced charges in 1989 and 1990 for helping Hong Kong businessmen get landed immigrant status by faking residency in Canada. Now we come bang up to date. Mr Tien was featured this month in the Toronto Globe and Mail in yet another incarnation. He is now a British passport holder. 'The fact that I have one makes me dare to speak up on China,' he is quoted saying. He is not exactly famed for 'daring to speak up on China', is he? Perhaps he was talking about statements he plans to make which will establish him as a sort of courageous person Hong Kong needs. Remember Mrs Yuppie, who bought her 15-year-old son a mobile phone, on which he rang up an $8,000 bill in his first month? Well, he has lost it. A friend gave her advice. 'Why don't you call the taxi association or the police? You may be able to get it back.' She shook her head. 'It's well and truly lost, and as far as I am concerned, it's going to stay that way.' One suspects most Hong Kong business people will agree with Henry Tang Ying-yen that the Americans have behaved 'barbarically' by hitting Hong Kong garment exporters with impossible-to-fulfil pre-conditions. One can picture the scene, circa 100 BC. First barbarian: Let's smash in our enemies' skulls with clubs. Second barbarian: No, let's make them fill in loads of forms in triplicate. First barbarian: God, I love it when you're truly barbarous. Well done, Wharf. Their Cable TV division broadcast Germany's spectacular win in the Euro 96 football match at midnightish on Sunday night. This was shown at Delaney's bar in Wan Chai, and the Germans in attendance were whooping it up. Then the geniuses at the station decided to broadcast a trailer for Schindler's List . The nationalistic hooting died down. Business people dismayed at the thought of being forced to hire women and disabled people can relax for a while. Had lunch with Fanny Cheung Mui-ching, new boss of the Equal Opportunities Commission, and discovered why the commission has been so slow to react to cases of discrimination. It doesn't exist. At the moment, it is literally just her and a big empty office. Her shopping list includes everything from paper clips to staff members. A particularly large lump of cash has been set aside for a chief, who will be a chap, I mean, a person, with management skills and a sensitive understanding of discrimination issues. Horse-trainer Brian Kan Ping-chi and Lippo Securities boss Peter Woo are not on the shortlist. Denise Davies, of South Horizons, Ap Lei Chau, was peering at a quart of Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, chocolate chip flavour. 'Gobs of melt-on-your tongue chocolate flakes,' it said on the container. Her dictionary defines 'Gob' as 1. A clot of slimy substance; 2. To spit; or 3. American sailor. 'I might give this flavour a miss in future,' she said. Investigators are still trying to work out exactly why the fire-alarm went off in the Cathay Pacific 777 on Sunday. There were no durians aboard, so that's one theory scotched. I am informed that suspicion now rests on a cargo of live frogs - several tonnes of the critters, according to one source. Apparently the airborne pressure caused the frogs to bloat up. As the aircraft descended towards Kai Tak, thousands of the creatures, erm, expelled internal methane gases simultaneously, to put it politely. The sensors detected this and went crazy. I am happy to report that large amounts of human internal gas can be expelled in the passenger area without fear of alarms going off, although your neighbour may object after a while. Simon Winchester, who just popped into Hong Kong again, related the tale of a managing director's words to a staff member: 'I never mix business with pleasure, except in your case. You're fired.'