又中又英|An inkling

Will the government backpedal on its scheme to charge for garbage disposal? I have an inkling it will. To backpedal means to completely change your previous position or opinion. If you have an inkling about something, it means you have a feeling it is likely to happen. I have an inkling the government will backpedal on requiring Hong Kong people to pay for garbage disposal because senior officials are at sixes and sevens on how to proceed. If you are at sixes and sevens, it means you are confused or disorganized. The scheme, first proposed in 2005, was approved by the Legislative Council in 2021 to start in 2023.

After several delays, the government chose April 1 as the start date to charge residents for garbage disposal. But Environment Secretary Tse Chin-wan then again delayed it to August 1. It now looks like he will again delay or even postpone it indefinitely after influential politicians spoke up against the scheme. Starry Lee Wai-king, a Legco member and former chairperson of the DAB, Hong Kong’s largest political party, now feels the scheme is too optimistic. Lo Man-tuen, the influential vice-chairman of a patriotic political group, said Hong Kong was not ready for the scheme, and it should be scrapped.

It is hard to understand why such influential people oppose a scheme to protect the environment when many other places, including Taiwan, have similar schemes. I think the government should take the bull by the horns and charge for garbage disposal. To take the bull by the horns means to do something difficult but necessary in a brave and determined way.

政府到底會否撤回(backpedal)其垃圾徵費計劃呢?我約略感到(an inkling)它會。To backpedal是指出爾反爾、完全改變你之前的立場或意見。若你 have an inkling about something,意即你有預感它很有可能會發生。我有預感(an inkling)政府會撤回(backpedal)要求香港人為丟棄垃圾而付費,因為高官們對於如何進行可謂雜亂無章(at sixes and sevens)。若你是 at sixes and sevens,意即你是亂七八糟、雜亂無章。這個計劃首先於2005年提出,2021年獲立法會通過於2023年開始。

經過幾次的推遲,政府最終選了4月1日為住戶垃圾徵費的首度實施日。但環境局局長謝展寰又將日子再度延至8月1日。經過有影響力的政客們接連開聲反對計劃後,現在看來他又會再度延期,甚至無限期押後。立法會議員及香港最大政黨的民建聯前主席李慧琼,現在也覺得計劃過於樂觀。盧文端——一個具影響力的愛國政治團體的副主席——亦說香港未準備好推行計劃,應該擱置。

實在很難明白,當許多其他地方包括台灣,也有類似的計劃時,為何這些有影響力的人會反對一個保護環境的計劃。我認為政府應該「抓好公牛的角」(take the bull by the horns),進行垃圾徵費——to take the bull by the horns是指當機立斷,面對一些困難但必須做的事時,要勇敢果斷、不畏艱險地應對。

mickchug@gmail.com
Michael Chugani褚簡寧
中譯:七刻

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