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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

You Can AND(及) You Can't


FADE IN:

INT. SLEEPING ROOM - DAY

Waking up, PETER grabs his phone and checks a few texts.

PETER (V.O.)

A chamber-mate echoes

a satire of persons in

authority and without good track records; and

so - "you can do it"?

PETER (V,O.) (Cont'd)

No, you can't.

FLASHBACK

INT. IMMIGRATION CENTRE - DAY

A secured environment. Peter, a GIRL (20s) and an INTERPRETER (40s) deposit their mobiles in secured boxes and wait for security clearance.

PETER

(To the girl)

Do you have many clients

here?

GIRL

(Upset)

No, we're downsizing.

Half of our staff has been

laid off.

PETER

That's not good.

Peter turns to the Interpreter.

PETER

Do you come here often?

INTERPRETER

I don't like coming here at

all as losing my mobile

connectivity could mean

losing an opportunity of a

translation assignment that

might be worth HK$100,000-

HK$300,000.

PETER

Why? Can't they wait?

INTERPRETER

No one is indispensable.

They just give the job to

somebody else.

PETER (V.O.)

Yes, the same for fiat work.

I declined a two-day brief

as it clashes with this

pre-arranged legal visit.

END FLASHBACK

PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd)

One can do something if

one is in the right place,

and at the right time.

FLASHBACK

INT. RESTAURANT - DAY

Peter chats with a COUNSEL (65) happily.

PETER

...I wasn't in AGC from 1986-

1987 as I was studying in UK.

COUNSEL

I was doing well in AGC

then. But having heard

I'd still have to wait for

several years to get a

promotion. I resigned

right away, following

those who left before

me.

PETER (V.O.)

That's why those stayed

put got accelerated

promotions in 1988.

END FLASHBACK

PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd)

If I was asked to state

just one good track

record, what would it be?

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd)

It must be my accomplishment

of the mission that Hong

Kong wouldn't have an IP

legal laguna came 1 July,

1997.

Pausing.

PETER(V.O.)(Cont'd)

Would the general public

appreciate that?

FLASHBACK

EXT. BEACH - DAY

Strolling, Peter sees an authority's notice board.

PETER (V.O.)

Yes, I added value in the

Authority's Chinese name.

The initial translation was

just "康樂文化..." and the

conjunction "AND" was

skipped. I thought culture

wasn't just leisurely oriented,

so I inserted "及" to it.

END FLASHBACK

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Why I could do that? I was

a Deputy Secretary for

Constitutional Affairs from

1998-1999, and it was a matter

in one of my projects.

Peter smiles.

PETER(V.O.) (Cont'd)

It's true that anyone could

deal with the small matter,

but I happened to work

there at the material time.

Was it brought about by

chance or by my own actions?

Pausing.

PETER(V.O.) (Cont'd)

I'd say that if it was by chance,

the name could have been in

its initial form if I didn't take

any action.

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd)

The dilemma is: even if one is

prepared to do something,

it doesn't necessarily mean

that the opportunity would

go to him/her. Thus, you

can do it and you can't!

Pausing.

PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd)

Now as a retiree who can

afford to save time for

exercises, creativity, travel,

or even sleeping, I won't

mind skipping the word

"及" between "leisure" and

and "culture" at all!

Peter goes back to sleep.

FADE OUT.

THE END

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