LEGISLATORS yesterday voted in favour of establishing a Central Provident Fund after accusing the Government of forcing the public to take risks without providing the necessary protection in its own proposed compulsory pension scheme. Unconvinced of official arguments against a central fund, legislators demanded the Government explain why other countries could manage retirement schemes but Hongkong could not. The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr John Chan Cho-chak, repeated Government reservations about providing financial guarantees for such schemes. If the Government did this, its financial commitment would be permanent, ever-increasing and counter-productive as it would encourage fund managers to take greater risks. A far more positive approach was to take steps to ensure that the system would operate properly. But Mr Chan failed to satisfy the legislators in addressing their concerns over problems and flaws with the proposed compulsory retirement scheme, in which all full-time employees aged under 65 and not covered by private schemes would have to participate. Dr Leong Che-hung said: ''It is a scheme that has no track record, it is a scheme that gives all the freedom to the private sector; it is a scheme that puts no responsibility or accountability on the Government.'' Accountant Mr Marvin Cheung Kin-tung said many financial projections in the consultation paper were ''highly suspect'' and the most misleading figures were those for returns on investments. The paper predicts returns of between two and four per cent above inflation. ''I challenge the Government to produce a fund manager who will guarantee a return of more than even two per cent below inflation,'' he said. Although the original motion urging the Government to consider the setting up of a Central Provident Fund and the protection of those who have retired or are approaching retirement age was defeated, Mr Hui Yin-fat - the motion sponsor - urged his colleagues to closely monitor the Government in the provision of a comprehensive social protection system. They spent four hours discussing the subject before voting 22 to 17 for an amendment proposed by Meeting Point's Mr Tik Chi-yuen calling for the speedy establishment of a Central Provident Fund. The 22 councillors who supported Mr Tik were 13 UDHK members, four from Meeting Point, plus Mr Frederick Fung Kin-kee, Miss Emily Lau Wai-hing, Dr Tang Siu-tong, Mr Samuel Wong Ping-wai and Mr Tam Yiu-chung. Those against included the 14 CRC members, plus Mr Hui, Mr Pang Chun-hoi and Mr Eric Li Ka-cheung. Nine councillors abstained, including the two ex-officio members present, Financial Secretary Mr Hamish Macleod, Attorney-General Mr Jeremy Mathews; plus Mr Jimmy McGregor; Mrs Elsie Tu; Mr Cheung; Mr Timothy Ha Wing-ho; Miss Christine Loh Kung-wai, Mr Roger Luk Koon-hoo and Miss Anna Wu Hung-yuk.