The government yesterday confirmed it granted at least HK$72 million to two companies, led by a Beijing loyalist educator, to produce biased national education materials. The Education Bureau said it had granted annual funding of HK$12 million since 2007 to the National Education Services Centre and National Education Centre, both led by Yeung Yiu-chung, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress and an educator. This means the two firms have received HK$72 million in six years. The companies published material praising one-party rule that has recently been sent to some public schools. They also tell pupils multi-party politics could 'victimise' people, while concentrated political power could create 'selfless' government that brought stability. Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim said last week that the materials were 'problematic' and should not be used. Yeung said accusations about the materials were unwarranted, and teachers should be able to decide whether to use them. 'The criticisms were unfair. Everyone must be able to have their own opinions. We believe teachers can decide how the materials can be used,' he said. National Education Services Centre directors include Legislative Council president Tsang Yok-sing, unionist Cheng Yiu-tong and Federation of Education Workers leader Wong Kwan-yu. Permanent Secretary for Education Cherry Tse Ling Kit-ching said yesterday that all the arrangements had been made through 'proper procedures'. But pan-democrats said they had never known funding could be obtained to produce national-education resources for schools. The issue emerged last Friday, when the Professional Teachers' Union revealed that the bureau was giving money to Beijing loyalists to make material that supported the Communist Party. The issue also caught the attention of mainland media. Ng yesterday attended his first meeting of the Legislative Council education panel since taking office. Pan-democrat lawmakers called on him to withdraw funding from the Beijing-loyalist groups. Education Bureau officials will meet company executives today. The government recently announced that all public primary schools must begin offering national education by 2015. Secondary schools must do so by 2016. A spokeswoman said textbooks and teaching materials did not need the bureau's approval. Wong Hak-lim, of the democratic Professional Teachers' Union, said he feared Beijing-loyalist schools sponsoring bodies might force the use of the biased teaching materials. It is understood a group of some 50 educators, from 10 school-sponsoring bodies in Hong Kong, met Ministry of Education officials and Beijing scholars a few months ago to discuss national education. The groups included the Catholic and Anglican dioceses, and the Christian, Taoist and Buddhist associations.