An unsettling incident at Lok Ma Chau border post may set alarm bells ringing about the role of the People's Liberation Army after the handover. Anyone crossing from the closed zone on the mainland must carry a Closed Road Permit to show they have permission to travel the route. On May 27 when a car pulled in with driver and passenger, customs officials routinely requested the permit but it was not produced. A senior officer was called and the passenger, in civilian clothes, identified himself as Major-General Zhou Borong, one of five brass hats to be stationed here in July. Customs staff apologised for the inconvenience. The car sped off. General Zhou has since complained in what are said to be 'forceful terms' to the British, describing the incident as an offence to the PLA. He challenged the legal right of customs to check his identity and said Hong Kong authorities should 'educate subordinates so that they do not abuse the PLA'. It was explained to him that the officer behaved correctly. No insult was implied or intended. In Hong Kong, everybody has to abide by the law, from hawkers to chiefs of staff. General Zhou perhaps believes Garrison Law is already in force. That was passed by the National People's Congress in December exempting the PLA from being searched or detained by police while on duty. Maybe Major-General Liu Zhenwu could have a word in General Zhou's ear. He's the chap who says China will use Hong Kong to reverse the PLA's Tiananmen image. If the PLA acts above the law after July, that's one goal they won't achieve. A familiar face is on his way to Beijing where he will take overall charge of Britain's interests in post-handover Hong Kong. Former Joint Liaison Group (JLG) team leader Tony Galsworthy is expected to be named as the new ambassador to China, and to take up the post before the end of the year. Mr Galsworthy was one of the few Foreign Office supporters of Governor Chris Patten's political reforms, after he spent four frustrating years failing to make progress in the JLG after the Tiananmen crackdown. As ambassador, the Consulate-General in Hong Kong will come under his control giving him a crucial role in deciding how Britain responds to developments in the Special Administrative Region. He is to replace Sir Len Appleyard whose departure is unlikely to be mourned by many embassy staff since his three years in the post have been notable only for British tabloid revelations about his love life and rows with Hong Kong journalists. The Civil Service Branch is reviewing the salary of four of the personal staff of chief executive-designate Tung Chee-hwa's office so they can be integrated into the civil service pay scale after July 1. They include Mr Tung's secretary, driver and two special assistants. Sources said that since Mr Tung comes from the business sector, the salary package of his personal staff is different from that of civil servants. His secretary's total take home pay may be higher than Jenny Best, the senior PA to Governor Chris Patten, since all Mr Tung's secretary's holidays and overtime are monetised. If the secretary is to be integrated into the civil service after the handover, she will be entitled to more than 30 days' holidays which cannot be monetised. The branch will study the duty lists to see how the four job specifications can be graded in the civil service structure. By doing so, it is hoped the branch can work out salaries which are comparable to other civil servants. Sources said the branch wants to prevent controversy and to make sure that the civil service pay scale is upheld.