SO the legislators have had their day. Mr Chim Pui-Chung - he with certain interest in the Stock Exchange and its options market - scored a victory of sorts yesterday. Thirty-three to nine with two abstentions amounts to a definite slap on the wrist for the Government and the way it introduced stock futures to Hong Kong. Now our leaders, in general, and the Securities and Futures Exchange, in particular, have taken on board the lesson that Legco handed out yesterday and will ensure that in future instruments are not introduced without consultation. Meanwhile, we have consultation coming out of our ears as the Hong Kong Futures Exchange continues its efforts to convince decision makers, opinion formers and practitioners that the arrival of two individual stock index futures will bankrupt the territory, cause tidal waves and bring down tall buildings. The arguments being put forward in favour of stock futures should be strong enough to carry the next vote on their introduction - the amendment to the Commodities Trading Ordinance - which, coincidentally, is taken one day before the HKFE's consultation programme ends. Having made its point, Legco now appears to be ready to lend its support. If it did not, it would look ludicrous. It is designed to give statutory backing to the safeguards devices built into the new futures market, and make sure that the debacle of 1987, when players were found to have got in over their heads, can never happen again. The proposed laws should ensure that they don't even get out of their depth. To remove this would be to leave the market without a unique defence against players evading the rules on position limits. Under the proposed system, the offenders would face the full force of law. Without it they would be guilty only of breaking the rules of the exchange. What is important now is the need to advance both futures and options. Denials from Singapore that it had no intention of stealing a march on Hong Kong by introducing its own products based on Hang Seng stocks still cut no ice in some circles.