Hong Kong citizens may worry about what's happening to their judicial system as they watch the way the Secretary for Justice operates, and while kidnap victims jeopardise everyone else's freedom by failing to report a major crime. But these considerations are not viewed in the same light across the border. A senior member of Beijing's Hong Kong policy establishment confided his admiration, albeit in a subtle manner, for the way Li Ka-shing handled the matter. 'First, the tycoon is calm and smart enough to bid down the ransom demand,' the cadre said. 'We are not encouraging people not to report to the police. However, by not dealing with the Hong Kong police and ensuring that his nemesis is put on trial on the mainland, the tycoon has ensured that Big Spender can't come back to haunt him or his family again. He's an astute fellow and the mainland government must bear this in mind when dealing with him.' It didn't seem to occur to the cadre that Mr Li had no guarantee his son would be safely returned when he handed over the loot. It is only because the so-called 'brains' behind the organisation lacked the wit to hide his identity when collecting it that he was caught. The point that people in Hong Kong should bear in mind is that others on the kidnap list could have suffered the same fate - or worse - because the police were not informed. A bullet in the head for a kidnapper is one thing, but failing to report a crime and thus letting the entire Hong Kong population go hang is quite another. The Legco chamber on Wednesday night was more like high school on the night before summer break. Jubilant councillors got so carried away that council president Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai had to act the headmistress and tell the unruly bunch to 'keep quiet . . .' or else. Emotion ran high because Democratic Party member Lee Wing-tat spared his colleagues by opting not to reply at the conclusion of a motion debate sponsored by him. Mrs Fan told Mr Lee he had three minutes 10 seconds to speak after Lau Kong-wah of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong successfully amended his motion at about 11.18pm. But Mr Lee demurred: 'For the sake of the health of colleagues and to enable them to sleep early . . .' Cheers from fellow lawmakers. Goodness knows why. They regularly nod off in Legco anyway. All that fancy dress stuff at APEC meetings is a diplomatic minefield. President Jiang Zemin was the first guest to find out the proper way to wear a Malaysian batik shirt. Walking towards Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was waiting to greet him, Mr Jiang spotted that his host's shirt was buttoned to the neck. Mr Jiang instantly started to fix his top button as he walked, so he was properly attired the time the two shook hands. Everyone else, including Tung Chee-hwa, failed to button up until they were given lessons on how to wear the shirt at the morning session. New Zealand Prime Minister Jenny Shipley wore a blue Malaysian Kebaya, complete with selendang. One of the few top-level occasions when it pays to be a woman. Moment of drama for Mr Jiang when the hotel power generator failed the evening before his early-morning departure. Repairs went on desperately through the night so the Chinese President would not have to walk down 28 flights of stairs from the presidential suite at the Shangri-La Hotel to his limousine. Hotel staff were not so lucky. They had to climb back and forth carrying trays of food ordered by hungry journalists and Chinese delegates who dined after midnight.