Home Affairs Secretary Lau Kong-wah confirmed on Wednesday that the traditional fireworks display in Victoria Harbour on the second day of the Lunar New Year holiday will be cancelled for security reasons.
The traditional display had been due to take place on January 26.
Speaking to legislators, Lau said the government had carried out a “comprehensive and cautious” assessment before concluding that there are still “unstable factors” that could threaten public safety.
DAB lawmaker Edward Lau said it's a pity that the fireworks show has been called off, adding that many people would like to enjoy the festivities after the social unrest that has rocked Hong Kong for the past seven months.
“I feel disappointed, but I understand the concern”, he said.
But Civic Party legislator Tanya Chan said the move suggests doesn’t reflect well on the police.
“With all the arms and ammunition of the police… I don’t understand why [they have] no confidence of ensuring the public safety”, she said.
The anti-government protests had also prompted the cancellation of the annual fireworks display on New Year's Eve.
A Lunar New Year night parade in Tsim Sha Tsui was also called off and replaced with a carnival event at the West Kowloon Cultural District site.
Hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers and visitors traditionally gather for the Lunar New Year display, which typically lasts for more than 20 minutes and involves thousands of pyrotechnics fired from barges in the harbour.
Last updated: 2020-01-15 HKT 15:09