Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor toned down the festive cheer of her first Lunar New Year greeting as chief executive, re-recording parts of the clip released on Thursday following the deadly bus crash in Tai Po last Saturday.
The one-minute video, released on the eve of the new year, showed Lam outside Government House wearing a blue qipao and a white jacket. Her husband Lam Siu-por wore a suit with a dark green tie. The couple extended their best wishes to Hongkongers.
A source said the clip was a bit shorter than the original version filmed before the bus crash last Saturday. Some 19 people died and 65 others were injured after a KMB double-decker travelling from Sha Tin racecourse to Tai Po flipped on its side near Tai Po Mei.
It is understood that Lam’s original video clip was a more joyful affair, featuring lots of well-wishing spring scrolls. Lam was dressed in red and her husband wore a matching tie.
The source said while Lam thought it inappropriate to run the original clip so soon after the crash, she also felt she ought not to miss the tradition of sending festive greetings.
“I am honoured to extend my new year greetings to you for the first time in my capacity as the chief executive,” Lam said in the clip. “I wish Hong Kong prosperity, stability, progress and success in the year ahead.
“We wish you all a healthy and happy Year of the Dog.”
The clip also highlighted the service of police dogs, the animal being the Chinese zodiac sign for the new year.
Lam announced earlier this week that she would skip the tradition of visiting the Lunar New Year fair on Thursday and the annual night parade on Friday, out of respect for the victims.
And the government called off the fireworks display scheduled for Saturday, saying key officials would refrain from attending any major celebrations for a week or two.