There is a silver lining in Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's gaffe about answering questions in English being a waste of time. Last week, she told a reporter who had asked a question in English it was a waste of time replying in English because she had already answered the same question in Cantonese. In fact, the English question was different although it was about the same issue of housing. Her remark caused a media uproar (outrage, extreme anger). She had to apologize later that day and said she would always answer English questions in English. Her gaffe has a silver lining because senior government officials must now take a cue from her and speak in English too.
The words "silver lining" come from the expression "every cloud has a silver lining." This expression means that something positive or hopeful can come out of a difficult situation. The word "gaffe" means a mistake that causes embarrassment to the person who made the mistake. The expression "take a cue from" means to follow the example of or to be strongly influenced by someone or something. The chief executive's gaffe has a silver lining because senior officials must now follow her example and treat reporters from the English media as equal to reporters from the Chinese media. Some senior officials always shun (avoid, ignore) the English media because they believe it is a waste of time speaking to the English media.
I am the host of an English language TVB show. Several years ago I was also the co-host of an English language radio show on RTHK. Some senior officials refuse to go to these shows because they believe it is a waste of time. I will not name them now but they know who they are. They will always say they are busy, but they will always find the time to be guests of Chinese shows. These senior officials should now take a cue from the chief executive. If they do not, I guarantee them I will name them.