The Democrats say they are not after a witch-hunt, but a search for the truth Pressure on the Hong Kong government to set up an independent commission to probe the Sars outbreak has started to grow, with the Democratic Party and Legco's medical sector representative vowing to pursue the matter. Speaking on the day Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa said it was 'encouraging' to see progress in the fight against Sars, Democrats chairman Yeung Sum stressed the probe would not be a witch-hunt but a search for the truth about the outbreak. The party will either move a motion in the Legislative Council calling for the government to set up an independent panel - which could include a judge and various experts - or send a request directly to the chief executive. 'As the epidemic has shown signs of getting under control, it is time for us to find out the truth about what has actually happened with our health system,' Dr Yeung said. 'We have been developing our health-care system for years, but we still have this outbreak which has claimed more than 200 lives. Shortcomings in the system could well be the tip of the iceberg.' Dr Yeung said the commission should investigate how the epidemic started and spread, whether any officials made mistakes in trying to control the disease and whether health workers had adequate training and equipment. Dr Yeung said the party also was planning to help Sars victims from Amoy Gardens seek compensation from the government. Medical sector representative Lo Wing-lok is pushing separately for the creation of a commission to conduct a 'post-mortem' examination of the Sars outbreak. 'It has to be independent from the government structure, otherwise people won't trust the result,' Dr Lo said. He said he might consider working with the Democrats on the proposal. But other parties have yet to be convinced. James Tien Pei-chun, leader of the Liberal Party and a member of Mr Tung's cabinet, said although his party agreed that an investigation aimed at improving the system should be held, the Democrats' approach was questionable. 'I would not support a campaign to find faults and then seek somebody's downfall,' he said.