ANITA Mui Yim-fong is not making a comeback. And, she'd like that known from the outset. To all intents and purposes, the big sister of Canto-pop said, she never left the scene in the first place. ''When I announced my 'withdrawal' from the music scene, I never said I would not release any more albums,'' said the singer/actress who last month released That Is, her first album in almost three years. ''The fact that this album was so long in the making was because we [Mui and producer Anthony Lun Wing-leung] wanted to take our time in choosing only the best songs for it. And, now, everyone is calling it my return to singing. Technically, it's not a comeback.'' ''Technically'', of course, Mui is right. Despite not having released an all-new album in such a long time, she has had frequent sessions in the studio recording theme songs for some of her movies, such as The Heroic Trio, which her recording company lost no time in inserting in one of a series of compilation albums released last year. And, despite not having held any solo concerts since she waved goodbye to the crowd in 1991, 30-year-old Mui has made public singing appearances and held a charity concert in Toronto last October. Then, of course, there have been rumours about her having signed up for more than 50 shows in China, and for August 26 and 27 at the Hong Kong Stadium before Ronald Leung Ding-bong threw a spanner in the works by announcing an indefinite ban on pop concerts at the venue last month. ''When I announced my partial retirement in 1991, I distinctly remember saying that I did not rule out holding my own concerts again for charity and for those who really enjoy my songs,'' Mui said. Even now, she maintains that she has never reneged on her word and, more importantly, never publicly announced that she was going to hold any solo concerts in Hong Kong. ''It [the concerts] is a matter that I have left entirely in the hands of my management company. I did not know they were negotiating for the Hong Kong Stadium. I was never informed of any finalised plans. I don't think I am even mentally prepared enough for a solo run right now,'' she said. Mui does, however, concede that the Hong Kong Stadium holds great attraction for her if she were to eventually hold another concert run. ''The Stadium would pose a very big challenge that I would love to meet,'' she said. Unfortunately, the concert ban has put Mui's ambitions on hold and that is a situation Mui finds particularly annoying. ''The authorities should have considered the noise problem before they reopened the stadium. With the ban now, I would obviously have to reconsider any concert plans. For the time being, I will not consider the Hong Kong Coliseum as a venue.'' Although Mui's wish to go back on stage is barely veiled, she is adamant that she does not regret her 1991 decision to opt for a lower profile. ''There has been no cause for regret. It was not a decision I wanted to make; it was something I had to do,'' she said. ''I was not getting any younger and performing marathon concerts takes a lot of energy out of you. Now I can limit myself to only shows for charity and for those fans who really like my performances.'' While Mui may have opted for a low-key existence in showbusiness, the business, however, has refused to leave her alone. Since her last concerts when she had to cancel a show because of a back injury, Lady Luck appeared to have all but deserted Mui. Scandal after scandal has been snapping at her heels. There were whispers of her having AIDS; that she would not live past 30; that she had triad links; that she was on the run from triads and that she was still paying them off for the death of film producer Wong Long-wai, hence her return to stage. ''I have said it before - and I will say it again - I did not pay off the triads. Hong Kong is not a lawless society, the police are there to protect the citizens and they have done so in my case,'' she has gone on record as saying. ''I am not returning to the stage for money. I think people should not insult my professionalism. I want everyone to know that I am not that complicated a character. I don't spend a lot of money. I have to take care of my mother, of course, but the rest is just normal expenditure.'' She added: ''I have a house in Canada, two in England and one in Japan. I hope to add one more in Singapore and I already invest in property in Hong Kong, so I am not exactly broke.'' Mui concedes that she is not ''extremely wealthy'' either. ''I dare not say I can live in luxury the rest of my life without having to work but I think I can still do it for some time,'' she said. ''It really is not because of money. I want to feel useful and to have a purpose in life and being on stage gives me that. A person needs that kind of outlet; money is not the issue.'' THE one silver lining that Mui has found in the past three years of strife is that she has ''changed''. ''I am calmer and not as aggressive or competitive as before. I find that I am a lot more easy-going,'' she said. Which is probably why Mui prefers to devote time to charity. The organisation that takes centre stage with her is the Anita Mui True Heart Charity Foundation that she set up more than a year ago to help those truly in need. Mui hopes to be able to devote at least a month to doing overseas performances to raise funds for the charity so that more needy people can benefit. ''In the past, I have often wanted to contribute more to charity but always found it difficult to decide which cause was most worthy. I set up the charity foundation so that I could leave the decision to a panel of experts to get things organised,'' she said. The charity spans the globe, irrespective of race or creed, and one of its first major projects was to raise funds for the building of an old folks' home in San Francisco. Besides charity work Mui, who is presently in Taiwan to record her Mandarin album, hopes to put aside five months for film work and another five months for recording purposes and then take a month off for some rest and recreation. ''Besides helping those in need, I naturally hope to sing more good songs for my fans and find true love along the way,'' she said. She added, however, that being in part-retirement has already helped take a lot of the pressure off her professionally. ''I am no longer in it for fame and fortune. I have achieved all that. Now all I want is some happiness.'' And, with that, it looks certain that - comeback or not - Anita Mui Yim-fong intends to remain in the picture for some time yet.