I WAS once told that if I wanted to retain the title of any article I should have it in the article itself. Apparently editors reserve the right to title any articles or reports in their newspapers. Well, I have decided to title this article - OOPS! OOPS could stand for a multitude of sins. It could stand for: Oh, oh! The Old Age Pension Scheme! Or OOPS there goes another . . . governmental boo boo. Having made reference to the Old Age Pension Scheme, it would be unfair of me not to share some of my thoughts with you. The administration has put before us a consultative paper on its latest thinking on a so-called retirement protection scheme and the consultation period ends in about nine weeks. Prior to this, the administration came out with its compulsory retirement protection scheme, under which almost the entire workforce would be required by law to contribute to the scheme. There was no opting out. Legislators across the board favoured this concept with one reservation - what protection did contributors have in case of fraud, for example, if funds disappeared or were misappropriated? The point was quite simple: if contributions were required by law, the Government should provide a safety net against fraud. The administration was wholly against any such governmental safety net. The Liberal Party suggested that the Government set aside $10 billion towards the safety net fund. Odd isn't it that the administration is proposing to provide $10 billion as capital under its OPS proposal. I wonder how it came to be $10 billion? Over the past weeks a lot has been said about the administration's OPS. One point sticks out like a sore thumb - the administration is blurring the line between welfare and retirement security. I believe the community will support both: welfare payments to those in need and a retirement pension scheme to those who contribute. What is not needed are welfare payments to those who are not in need. Lumping them together will not help resolve two separate and distinct issues. OOPS I have done it again! TALKING about protection brings me to safety - of slopes and on construction sites. Legco had the benefit of meeting Norbert Morgenstern, who was here carrying out an independent study into what went wrong with the Kwun Lung Lau landslide that cost five people their lives and injured three others. Professor Morgenstern told us that when it comes to slopes Hong Kong is unique. It wasn't what Hong Kong could learn from other countries regarding slope safety but what others could learn from us. James Blake, Secretary for Works, and Dr Andrew Malone, Acting Director of Civil Engineering, told us many times that the standards put out by the Geotechnical Engineering Office have worldwide recognition. Perhaps we are too unkind to doubt Messrs Blake and Malone. This, however, is quite different from accepting without question or indeed an independent inquiry as to what went wrong with Kwun Lung Lau. The administration has constantly asserted that our government should be open and accountable. Perhaps Exco would demonstrate this by ordering an independent inquiry. Like most things in life, safety is a two-way street. Safety at construction sites is perhaps the best example of why it is a two-way street. The construction industry has been hounded over industrial injuries. Some years ago it may have been that some contractors were not as vigilant as they might have been, but today the industry has risen to the challenge. This by itself is not good enough. What the industry needs is full co-operation from the workforce. It is true that no one wants to get injured, but it is perhaps failure to take the simplest of precautions that may produce the greatest of tragedies. The administration has not helped in the past by not prosecuting workers who have violated safety laws. The industry is prepared to introduce safety courses, which would help; trade unions, as well, could do more. OOPS, I have done it again - criticising everyone but myself.