又中又英｜Tighten the screws
Will he, or won't he? I am talking about Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po. Will he give Hong Kong people consumption vouchers in his February 22 budget? Many political parties are tightening the screws on Chan Mo-po. Some want $10,000 in consumption vouchers. Others want $5,000. I was living in Hong Kong in 2011 when John Tsang Chun-wah, who was financial secretary, gave adult citizens $6,000 because the government had too much money. He gave cash through bank accounts, not consumption vouchers. I spent my $6,000 on daily necessities.
I was in Hong Kong in 2021 when Chan Mo-po gave $5,000 in consumption vouchers. I collected part of the money before I returned to the US and spent it on wine for relatives but had left when the remaining vouchers became available. I was in the US in 2022 when he gave a further $10,000 in consumption vouchers. My nephew had suggested I mail my Octopus card to him so he could get the vouchers for me. I decided that was wrong because I was not in Hong Kong. I am still not in Hong Kong and cannot benefit but believe Chan Mo-po should give vouchers again.
I want to tighten the screws on him but hold no sway. To tighten the screws on someone means to put pressure on that person. To hold sway over someone means to be able to influence that person. I am too unimportant to hold sway over Chan Mo-po but feel he should listen to ordinary Hong Kong people who have lost jobs or struggled during the pandemic instead of wealthy politicians like Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee who oppose vouchers.
他會，還是不會呢？我說的是財政司司長陳茂波——他到底會不會在二月二十二日的財政預算案中，向香港人派發消費券呢？許多政黨都在向陳茂波施加壓力（tightening the screws）。有些人想要一萬元消費券，另一些人則想要五千元。二零一一年我還在香港居住，當年時任財政司司長曾俊華就給過成年市民每人六千元，因為政府有太多錢。他是透過銀行戶口向市民派發現金，而非消費券的。我將我的六千元花了在日常用品之上。
我也想向他施壓（tighten the screws），但我對他毫無影響力（hold no sway）。To tighten the screws on someone是指向某人施加壓力。To hold sway over someone是指能影響某人、對其有支配力量。我人微言輕，不足以影響（hold sway over）陳茂波，但我覺得他應該聆聽那些於疫情期間失業或苦苦掙扎的香港升斗市民，而非那些反對消費券的富有政客如葉劉淑儀。