My understand is that this is very much about the date on which the people died. The cases that you mentioned are quite different with respect to the lunar calendar.
Edit: I was quoting someone who asked why the fireworks were not cancelled in 1992 and 2008.
His response, while he agreed that something needed to be done, was "but there might be a problem... some people might not like to get on a bus which might be driven by a non-chinese".
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Racism amongst locals.. Surely not!
The KMB bus crash is a highly publicized event, so to cancel the fireworks based on that isn't all that strange. I guess it can be called grandstanding, but I wonder what the backlash would've been like if they continued with the fireworks. I do feel bad for all the local businesses and locals that were looking forward to the festivities.
But to see some people playing the victim here is very entertaining. I wonder if it's all virtue signaling as some of us here don't even live in HK anymore...