Money may soon be donated to the mainland by the Hong Kong government to help experts from both sides carry out research in the fight against Sars, Mr Tung told lawmakers yesterday. The suggestion comes amid growing demand for the Hong Kong government to reciprocate after the central government delivered the first batch of medical supplies to the Hospital Authority for distribution to health workers last week. About $45 million has been raised for mainland donations by two groups: the Liberal Party, through an appeal to Hong Kong's business sector, and local delegates to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. In response to a question from Ng Leung-sing from the Breakfast Group of non-affiliated legislators on what the Hong Kong government would do to thank the central government for its support, Mr Tung said it was considering donating money to support Sars-related research across the border. The central government was also experiencing hard times, Mr Tung said, and he believed Hong Kong people had been touched by its gift. Both Hong Kong and mainland experts were currently doing research on Sars testing, cures and vaccine development. The money donated could be used for this purpose, he said. 'We will soon make an announcement,' the chief executive promised, but did not specify the amount being considered. Mr Tung yesterday also met a visiting delegation of medicial scientists, led by Chinese Academy of Science vice-president Professor Chen Zhu, to discuss ways of controlling the spread of Sars. Legislators yesterday voiced support for the move to donate money to the mainland. Health constituency representative Michael Mak Kwok-fung said at least $500 million should be donated, 'so that we can hire many experts'. Liberal Party legislator Miriam Lau Kin-yee believed the donation would lead to a collaborative effort from both sides to carry out research into Sars. 'The central government has donated medical supplies to us. It's not appropriate to donate supplies back to them. But if we can gather experts from both sides to find a cure for the disease, it's good.'