Legislative Council member Abraham Shek Lai-him often speaks in English rather than Cantonese during council meetings. I wish more councillors would sometimes speak in English too. Shek Lai-him spoke in English last week during a Legco debate to impeach Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. Even though pro-government legislators slammed the chief executive for her failure to end months of civil unrest, they said she should not be impeached. Shek Lai-him, who is often pro-government, was among the legislators who slammed the chief executive. He used a very unusual word to slam the government. He said Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's government was an "omnishambles".
The word "slam" can be used in several ways but used this way it means to angrily criticize someone. As I have explained before, the word "omni" means everywhere or everything. The word "shambles" means a situation of total disorder, untidiness, or confusion. The word "omnishambles", which combines "omni" with "shambles", means a situation that is bad in every way caused by total mismanagement and numerous mistakes. Shek Lai-him described the government as an "omnishambles" for failing to provide a political solution to the many months of protests. What he meant was Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor had made so many mistakes with her extradition bill and managed the situation so badly after she withdrew the bill that the government is now in a total mess.
The word "omnishambles" was named word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary in 2012. It was coined (invented) in 2009 by the writers of a BBC political comedy show called The Thick of It. Shek Lai-him also slammed the chief executive for being aloof and uncompromising. If you are "aloof", it means you are not friendly, keep away from other people, and do not take part in things. Many people have criticized the chief executive for being aloof since the protests started six months ago. She stayed away from ordinary people and was seldom seen in public.
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧