They said it this week

VARGHESE ''They called some of us traitors, but I stand by my decision. It was made by me alone and was done in the best interests of all those striking.'' - Cathay Pacific strike leader Rachel Varghese explaining why she joined attendants returning to work this week.

ZHOU ''If the so-called proposals they put forward this time are also meant to sound out China's determination on matters of principle, then it is time now for them to wake up.'' - Zhou Nan, director of the local branch of the New China News Agency, linking today's political impasse with the events of 1983-84.

IP ''The project has already been discussed and it is meaningless to have it discussed again in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group.'' - The legal profession's Legco representative Simon Ip challenging China's demand for further Sino-British negotiation on awarding the Container Terminal 9 contract.

FUNG ''The Governor is only the head of civil servants. Why should he enjoy such a privilege.'' - Legco's Frederick Fung, urging Chris Patten to pay income tax.

ALLAN ''Even just 10 minutes extra a day in court would equal one additional judge.'' - Legal expert James Allan whose three-month survey of High Court judges found they only sat for an average of three hours and 16 minutes a day.

HO ''We've got enough casinos'' - Stanley Ho, commenting on the fact that Macau's new Westin Resort has cancelled plans for a casino after adverse reaction from the Government.

CLINTON ''She's better at organising and leading people from a complex beginning to a certain end than anybody I've ever worked with in my life.'' - Bill Clinton, announcing the appointment of his wife Hillary to head a committee preparing legislation for overhauling the US health care system.

ROBERTSON ''The President can fire a secretary of health and human services, but to put it bluntly, he can't fire a First Lady.'' - Political scientist Roby Robertson, pointing out Clinton's problems if she fails.

KINANE ''It's doom and gloom elsewhere but here it's like a breath of fresh air. It is great to be a part of that set-up.'' - Jockey Mick Kinane, who turned down one of the world's top riding jobs with Sheik Mohammed to stay with his present employers in Hongkong and Ireland.

HALCOMB ''We kept telling him, 'We're the police! We're the police!' But even after the stand-in gorilla took the hood off, Bernal could not believe a gorilla was not coming after him.'' - American Special agent Monty Halcomb who arrested a Mexican zoo chief for smuggling an endangered species after a colleague impersonated a gorilla in a crate bound for Mexico.