|“||I wanted to tell you this, Monsieur. Things are not so simple as you seem to think.||”|
Ong lived poor in Shanghai with his family until the age of 15, when he travelled to Singapore with nothing to his name. He eventually acquired his steamship and made a good living, sending money back home to his parents, who now live well.
His brother remained in Shanghai and became addicted to opium. Ong does not know his whereabouts, and wonders if he is perhaps dead or begging in the streets.
Captain Ong appears on the SS Thunder. He makes prejudiced comments about opium addiction, referring to its prosperity as an industry as guilt free and claiming that addicts choose to become addicted. Passepartout can agree with him, ignore him or passionately rebuke his comments.
Should Passepartout stay on board long enough, Ong may confide in him and will discuss the fate of his brother and the complexities of his feelings towards these events. Passepartout finally disembarks at Singapore.