Besides provoking 90,000 Hong Kong parents, students and teachers to protest-march on July 29, the government’s clumsy attempt to force ‘patriotic education’ on schools has now attracted a probe by the Ombudsman’s Office. Publicity surrounding the announcement last month that a 36-page booklet extolling China’s virtues would be introduced into Hong Kong’s curriculum has raised concern that Beijing is seeking to force its version of patriotism onto Hong Kong’s schoolchildren. It is emblematic of the fact that residents have been growing increasingly suspicious of the mainland’s motives arising from a litany of issues, ranging from the true loyalties of CY Leung, the new chief executive, mainland mothers displacing locals at maternity facilities, unaffordability of housing blamed on inflow of 'hot' money, censorship at the territory's leading English-language newspaper and wariness over a dangerous public security bill waiting somewhere in the wings.

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