In my previous column I wrote about spending Christmas in San Diego, California and visiting a nearby town called San Clemente where I had lunch with wine. I said I would explain why I had wine even though I don’t drink alcohol with lunch. But I decided to take a breather and will explain why I had wine in my next column. Today I will focus on a juicy scandal involving Legislative Council members and top government officials. I rarely write about politics here but last week’s juicy scandal is the talk of the town.
The expression “take a breather” means taking a short rest from exercises such as jogging. But it also means taking a quick break from things such as work. The word “juicy” means full of juice such as an orange. But it also means something so interesting that it attracts much attention. If something is the talk of the town it means everyone is talking about it. Everyone is talking about the birthday party of Witman Hung Wai-man, a local delegate to China’s National People’s Congress. The government has warned against large gatherings because of Omicron but over 180 guests attended the restaurant party, including 13 top officials and 19 legislators.
Two coronavirus-infected people attended the party. All guests were sent to Penny’s Bay for a 21-day quarantine, including the police commissioner, the home affairs secretary, and the immigration director. But it emerged one of the two guests was not infected. All those who left the party before the infected guest arrived were therefore released from quarantine. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has refused to take responsibility for the behaviour of the officials yet ordered Cathay’s chairman to take responsibility for flight attendants who didn’t fully self-quarantine and later tested positive. This is double-standards. The expression “the buck stops here” means the top person should take responsibility. Cathay’s chairman did by apologizing but maybe Lam’s English is not good enough to understand what this expression means.
在上一篇文章中我寫到，我在加州的聖地牙哥度聖誕，及遊覽附近一個名叫聖克萊門特的小鎮，在那兒我吃午餐的時候喝了酒。我說我會解釋，為何即使我慣常不會在午膳期間喝酒，那天怎麼還是喝了酒呢。但我決定歇一歇（take a breather），在下一篇專欄中自會再說我為何在午餐時喝酒。今天我會集中討論一件牽涉立法會議員及政府高官，相當刺激有趣的（juicy）醜聞。我很少在這專欄談政治，但上周這聽得人津津樂道（juicy）醜聞實在是全城熱話（the talk of the town）。
習語“take a breather”是指在做運動例如緩步跑一會後，喘一喘氣，稍事歇息；但它也可解作辦某些事例如工作的途中，稍為止住，停一停。Juicy是指多汁的，例如一個豐富多汁的橙，但它也解作某事非常引人入勝，引起許多人的注意。若某事是the talk of the town，意即城中人人都在談論這件事。港區全國人大代表洪為民的生日派對，人人議論紛紛。因著Omicron病毒，政府已警告勿再舉辦大型聚會，但有超過一百八十個嘉賓出席了那在餐廳辦的派對，當中包括了十三名高官及十九名立法會議員。
兩個感染新冠病毒的人士出席了派對，所有嘉賓都被送去竹篙灣接受二十一天隔離檢疫，當中包括警務處處長、民政事務局局長，以及入境處處長。但最終證實，該兩名確診者的其中一位並未受到感染，於是所有早於確診嘉賓到臨前已離開派對的賓客，都可免受隔離檢疫而獲准離開。就着此事特首林鄭月娥拒絕為官員的行為負責，但之前國泰航空空中服務員並未完全遵從家居隔離的規定，後來確診，林鄭卻又責成國泰主席，要為該機組人員的行為負責——這是雙重標準。習語“the buck stops here”意即最高決策人是責無旁貸的。國泰主席確有道歉以示負上責任，但或許林鄭的英文未夠好去明白這個習語的意思吧。