OFFICIALS were yesterday urged to reassess public opinion on the old age pension scheme. The Government dropped the scheme last month, claiming it lacked community support. At the education and manpower panel meeting yesterday, the Government was accused of dodging the issue. Cheung Man-kwong from the Democratic Party said the Government was trying 'to hold the power over life and death by being the final judge on whether public opinion is in support of the scheme or not'. 'Why can it not appoint an independent company or use universal suffrage to conduct a reassessment?' Labour representative Tam Yiu-chung questioned the need to conduct another round of discussion with groups, unions and political parties. 'From the figures shown, I can't see the number of opponents to the scheme has outweighed those in support. For example, of the 4,000 signatures collected, only 210 oppose the scheme,' Mr Tam said. Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower Jacqueline Willis said: 'Unless there is common ground, it will be very difficult to put the plan forward. 'It is clear that the submissions did not give us the mandate necessary to implement the scheme, because the views are very divided,' she said. She said the Government should look for clear support for a direction in which to proceed. 'It is not a 'yes or no' issue'.