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Hong Kong: I'll get the job done

Donald Tsang has finally launched his election campaign for the Chief Executive (2007-2012). As the new Chief Executive (CE) would be selected by 800 selective committee members dominated by pro-China and business sector, he is sure to continue his position for five more years even though there is another candidate, Alan Leong, to compete with him this time.

In this sure to win election, instead of showing his vision for Hong Kong, believe it or not, his campaign slogan is “I'll get the job done!”

The local blogosphere is outraged by the implications of the campaign slogan to Hong Kong society and political development.

Florence from Overtherainbow describes the atmosphere and intepretation of her colleagues on the slogan in the newsroom:

編輯室七嘴八舌,由報章副主筆湯臣兄帶領下,一致將這句口號理解為:喂,我打份工咋,你地要雙普選,要唔拆皇后碼頭,爭唔到唔好話我,我都要睇老細面色架。

The newsroom was full of noises, in the end, under our opinion leader Thomson's guiding, we agreed on the understanding of the slogan: This is only my job, you guys want universal suffrage, against the demolition of queen's pier; if you can't get want you want, don't blame on me, I need to serve my boss.

Martin wonders why reporters from the press conference did not ask Donald who is his boss:

特首作為政治領袖,佢係打邊個嘅工,佢似乎無點樣講清楚。佢係打市民嘅工,定係北京嘅工,在場記者無個問過呢條基本問題。

As a political leader, he did not even clarify who is his boss, whether it is Hong Kong citizen or Beijing? Reporters at the press conference did not even ask this basic question.

Transpig tries to compare the Chinese and English phrase of the slogan:

如果將「我會做好呢份工」直譯﹐我會寫 I'll do this job well / I'll do well in this job 而不是「I'll get the job done」。反過來說﹐「I'll get the job done」的意思也不像「我會做好呢份工」﹐反而近似「我搞得掂」…英文「Get the job done」中的「the job」通常不是指某份工 / 某個職位﹐而是說某項任務 / 某件工作吧﹖﹗

那個「the job」是甚麼﹑曾蔭權又向誰拍心口保證「I'll get the job done」呢﹖大家慢慢想象啦 :P

A direct translation of 「我會做好呢份工」, for me, i will put it as I'll do this job well / I'll do well in this job, not “I'll get the job done”. Vice versa, the meaning of “I'll get the job done” is not exactly 「我會做好呢份工」, the meaning is closer to “I can fix it”… “The job” in “Get the job done” usually is not refering to an occupation or a position, but some kind of task or work.

So what exactly is “the job”, to whom Donald Tsang is reaffirming his ability to “get the job done”? It is up to your imagination :P

Hisboy feels frustrated about the quality of local politician:

曾先生的這個競選宣言,似乎連政客都不如,因為,「做好呢份工」看的是眼前,而不是將來;其他候選人提出也就罷了,提出的卻是一個未選就知道必定當選的曾蔭權,那麼問題就大了。我期望特首除了有氣魄外,更重要的是有願景,為香港的未來指向一條正確的道路。

Mister Tsang's election campaign declaration is worse than politician (who only thinks of election). “Get the job done” is pointing towards the present, not the future; if it is other candidates’ slogan, it is fine, however, Donald Tsang is a sure win candidate for this election, such attitude is a great problem then. I expect an energetic CE who has vision, who can lead Hong Kong to a rightful direction.

Sara thinks the slogan is a terrible idea:

還真沒聽說過以打工仔心態來治理一個城市/國家的。作為打工一族聽落就真係有啲驚。有哪個打工仔會真心為老細仆心仆命做事,大部分還不是抱著「多做多錯、少做少錯」、「做又 36,唔做又36」、「老細冇個好、同事冇個信得過」的心態…

I have never heard that anyone would take up bread winner's attitude in ruling a city / state. As a bread winner, I believe it is a terrible idea. I don't think bread winners would be genuinely loyal to their bosses, most of them believe that “doing more would be more likely to make mistake”, “you won't get more pay by doing more”, “no boss in the world is good boss, and you can never trust your colleague”…

One bean notices that the slogan is a continuity of colonial system and rationality:

四十年前入職公務員隊伍,說的是這句,四十年後「競選」特首,竟將此句作金句返炒,也算是說得夠白。

Forty years ago when he joined the civil servant, he said “I'll get the job done”. Forty years later, when he has his election campaign for CE, he uses this same old motto again. The signal is very clear.

(image from donald-tsang.com)

8 comments

  • Michael Wong

    昨天(二月十五日)讀過 信報的社論後,不無感慨。文中提到梁家傑的政制政綱涉及多處修改基本法,肯定不為中央接受,因此被評為不設實際,只空談願景,不理實踐。
    眾所週知,當然包括梁本人,此次參選是打一場不可能贏的仗。明知不可為而為知,只在逼使曾蔭權面對群眾,讓市民得知曾的底線,特別是如何帶領香港邁向雙普選。梁的政綱,縱使難行,却顯示出梁心目中的一幅藍圖。作為最具公信力的報紙,評論難道不可集中於建議的識見與理念是否正確,能否帶領全港市民朝正確的方向前進嗎?如果連信報都在揣摩中央意見,而要避重就輕,實在可悲。凡事只顧實際考慮,不講理念,那末跟六四後評論開槍鎮壓民運為中國帶來經濟穩定是如出一徹的涼薄。
    作為一個地方的最高領導人,有的應該是理想與胸。如果連拋出宏願,争取討價還價空間的氣量都沒有,只懂在框架內蠕動,那麽我們的特首就真的是唯命是從,只懂「我會做好呢份工」的打工仔而已。

  • Yesterday (February 15) I read the Hong Kong Economic Journal editorial with no lack of emotion. Mentioned in the piece is how Alan Leong’s political platforms involve amendments to the Basic Law. This will definitely not be accepted by the Central Government and thus has been regarded as unrealistic wishful thinking, ignorant of reality. As everyone knows, including of course Leong himself, his candidacy in this election was a losing battle. Knowing that it is impossible but still doing it to force Donald Tsang to face the public, so that Hong Kong people would know Donald Tsang’s baseline, especially in how to lead Hong Kong towards universal suffrage. Leong’s platforms, even if hard to implement, still show a blueprint straight from Leong’s heart. As the newspaper possessing the most credibility among the public, couldn’t the commentary have focussed on whether or not the proposals’ plausability and the suitability of the ideas in leading all Hong Kong citizens in the right direction?

    If even the Hong Kong Economic Journals dodges being serious in evaluating the Central Government’s suggestions, that would quite the sorrow. If consideration is only given to practicalities and no ideals, the sense of indifference and cruelity is similar to the saying that the repression of June 4 had brought about the prosperity in China.

    As Hong Kong’s highest leaders, he should have a open heart for ideal thinking. If he does not even have a vision, nor courage to negotiate with more space, and only knows how to work within the existing framework, our chief executive would only be a passive servant, who only know how to “get the job done”!

  • The above post is a translation of Michael Wong’s comment on feb 15.

  • Eric Yuen

    I think Donald missed a full stop. Here it should be:

    “I’ll get the job. Done!”

  • Simon Cheng

    Dear Donald,

    Fully support you and our government. One day, they will know your are good. Keep up buddy.

    Simon

  • KT

    To Michael Wong:
    Of course political leaders should have idealistic components in their stance, but that cannot be their only approach. To be a successful leader, one needs to stike a balance between idealistic and pragmatic approaches. It’s not an easy job! Even many American presidents such as Bill Clinton understand this principle. So they may appear idealistic when running for election, but usually turns more practical after they were voted into the White House. One exception is George W. Bush. He tends to be too idealistic, and look at the mess he has now made.

  • Danny

    Maybe, my comment comes a bit late. Frankly, I believe the electoral office of Tsang had well considered all the implications and consequences of introducing this bureaucratic-like campaign slogan. In 2005’s CE election, when signing the electoral form, he claimed his occupation as “politician”. Now, in 2007, we can manifest a remarkable change of Tsang’s self-perceived role from a “politician” to “civil servant”, demonstrating his determination to sustain the culture of depoliticization. Besides, as a matter of electoral consideration, compared with Alan Leung, who entered the Legco through direct election, who is more qualified to claim as a politician? As reflected from the electoral results, Tsang has succeeded in winning trust from the 800 voters and most importantly, the public by constructing an image of experienced and pragmatic administrator who can lead HK much better than idealistic Leung.

  • […] up to his election as Hong Kong’s second Chief Executive.  Relevantly, this slogan caused a good deal of concern and even outrage amongst many people (including the Central Government in Beijing, apparently).  This was […]

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