又中又英——Sparks fly

        Sparks didn't fly during last Tuesday’s televised debate organized by the electronic media for the three chief executive candidates. If sparks fly between two or more people, it means they argue angrily. Sparks flew during the televised debates between US presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last year. Sparks also flew in 2012 during the televised debate of chief executive candidates when Henry Tang Ying-yen accused Leung Chun-ying of lying to the people. But last Tuesday’s debate was mostly boring. The part that Hong Kong people and the media considered most interesting was when candidate Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she would resign if her popularity dropped. She clarified this the next day by saying she would resign only if public opinion was so against her that she could no longer do her job properly as chief executive.

  Her critics, including some in the media, said her comments proved she was too stupid to be chief executive. Legislative councillor Paul Tse Wai-chun said her comments had opened up a can of worms. To open a can of worms means creating a lot more problems for yourself when you start dealing with a complicated issue. Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor created a lot of problems for herself by commenting on the sensitive issue of public opinion. Former Legco president Tsang Yok-sing said she had made her comment on the spur of the moment during a difficult election debate. The expression “spur of the moment” means suddenly doing or saying something without planning or thinking ahead.

  I am surprised that Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s spur of the moment comment about resigning has become such a big deal. Hong Kong people are always demanding that government officials resign for even the smallest reasons. The opposition camp had demanded that Leung Chun-ying resign on the first day he became chief executive. Opposition camp leaders have also demanded that the police commissioner resign for supporting the seven policemen who were found guilty of beating up a protester. So why are they criticizing Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor for offering to resign if public opinion went against her?

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上星期二由電子傳媒為三位特首候選人籌辦的電視辯論,擦不出半點火花(sparks didn't fly)。若在二人或更多人之間有sparks fly,即是說他們爭持激烈。上年美國總統大選,候選人特朗普與希拉莉的電視辯論就火花處處(sparks flew);2012年特首選舉的電視辯論亦是火花連連(sparks also flew),唐英年指控梁振英撒謊「呃人」。但上星期二的辯論,大部份時間都令人呵欠連連。香港人和傳媒認為最有趣的地方,是當候選人林鄭月娥說,若其民望下跌她便會辭職。她於翌日澄清,只有當公眾意見與她有衝突,以至她無法好好履行特首職務時,她才會辭職。

  她的批評者,包括傳媒中人,說她的言論證明她笨得難以當特首。立法會議員謝偉俊說,她的言論簡直是開了一個爛攤子(had opened up a can of worms)。To open a can of worms的意思是當你着手處理一個棘手的議題,你把問題弄得更複雜,招惹更多的問題。林鄭月娥評論主流意見這一敏感議題,其實是為自己製造更多的問題。前立法會主席曾鈺成說,在難以駕馭的選舉辯論中,她只是一時衝動(on the spur of the moment)說出這樣的話來。習語spur of the moment的意思就是不加思索或未經計劃之下,心血來潮做了某件事,或一時衝動說了某句話。

  林鄭月娥衝口而出(spur of the moment)的辭職論,成為這麼大的一回事,令我相當驚訝。香港人常常因着細碎的原因而要求政府高官辭職。梁振英上任特首的頭一天,反對派便要求他辭職;警務處處長支持那因為毆打一名示威者而被判有罪的七警,反對派領袖們也要求他辭職。因此當林鄭月娥提出,若民意與她相違她便會辭職,他們又因何要批評她?

mickchug@gmail.com

中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧

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