"Babies on march frontline" ran the top news headline the local (Hong Kong) English newspaper Hong Kong Standard yesterday. Concerned parents, together with some high-school students, academics, and other people, worried about the planned introduction of Moral and National Education in all primary schools in Hong Kong this coming September. The concerned group requested the withholding of the planned introduction awaiting further consultations from the public, the new government is adamant for a go-ahead as planned with top officials making the administration's views openly to the media . This Sunday's (tomorrow's) rally is a test of will-power in the main streets of Hong Kong, not a physical test, of course. The parents planned it to be a carnival type of happy march with their babies and kids.
Real world politics can be messy. But that doesn't prevent any reasonable man to ask honest questions, like: why such opposing and confrontational views in the introduction of the Moral and National Education which has already be agreed and planned for under the Basic Law, the constitution of Hong Kong under the one-country-two systems implemented since the hand-over to Chinese sovereignty in 1997?
The incident that sounded the alarm arose from the recently published major reference book on the subject written by a Beijing-related private organization and published by an academic department of the local Baptist University (the University authority vowed to have left such matter to the academicians, and the academic concerned chose not to response to queries from fellow academics of the University). The publication was heavily sponsored by the Government (who said the funding process have gone through due process [whose amount is, incidentally, just below the radar of the financial vetting of the legislative council], and that the Government doesn't necessarily need to agree with everything written therein). And the material therein is supposedly intended for the consumption of primary school students (whose consumption will, unless we are talking about prodigies, be rather unsuspecting).
Among other controversial materials, there is this saying (quoted from HK Standard's article):
China's one-party system is proactive and
"selfless" whereas the US two-party system is "conducive to serious
partisan fights and makes people suffer."
No wonder many parents are concerned about the adamant attitude of the authority and asked for a delay pending further consultations.