Date
17 December 2017
Ng Hong-mun (inset) says the government was wrong to back down on national education despite protests in 2012. The banner says 'Against "brainwashing" education'. Photos: HKEJ
Ng Hong-mun (inset) says the government was wrong to back down on national education despite protests in 2012. The banner says 'Against "brainwashing" education'. Photos: HKEJ

Pro-Beijing columnist calls for national education in schools

Ng Hong-Mun, a former Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress, has called for the revival of plans to introduce national education to schools, am730 reported Friday.

He said the subject could be an effective way to enhance the knowledge of students about their country and its history.

The Ming Pao Daily columnist said the outbreak of the Occupy movement stemmed from young people’s discontentment with reality and the establishment.

Ng said the continued protests would only make people tired of the political debate and increased the chances of the Legislative Council passing the government-proposed political reform bill.

He described the Occupy protests as riots and doubted that they would end after two days of clearing operations by the police in Mong Kok.

“They could come back any time with any excuse,” Ng said.

The protesters’ requests were too varied, he said.

“One moment, they wanted the National People’s Congress ruling on August 31 to be withdrawn, and then they wanted Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to be removed from office the next,” Ng said.

He said the debates over political reform were only an excuse for the younger generation to unleash their frustrations about not being able to buy a flat, the widening wealth gap and their inability to land a good job with reasonable pay.

Ng said the hearts of the Hong Kong people have not been won 17 years after the change of sovereignty.

“The anti-China sentiments do not help,” he said.

Ng said long-term education is the key and disagreed with the government for backing down under public pressure in 2012 from its proposal to introduce national education.

He also criticized the removal of Chinese history from the list of compulsory subjects.

Meanwhile, Ng said Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing is interested in running in the 2017 election for chief executive, but Ng admitted Tsang’s pro-Communist Party background could hurt his chances.

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