A motion calling for the conservation of the Central police station compound was defeated in the Legislative Council this morning. The motion - moved by Choy So-yuk, of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong and which also urged the government to formulate a comprehensive policy on antiquities and monuments - received overwhelming support among directly elected lawmakers. But it was defeated 14 votes to 11 among legislators representing the functional constituencies at 1am. The government wants to tender out the redevelopment project. In a long and often heated debate, Albert Chan Wai-yip said many countries spent huge sums to preserve their heritage, not only their 'external appearance' but there 'spiritual characteristics'. He cited the redevelopment of Murray House and Stanley police station as examples of what should not be done. 'There are supermarkets inside these two redeveloped buildings. It is such a shame. If the government neglects the need to preserve its heritage, Hong Kong will become a city without a memory, without life and will turn into a dead city.' Timothy Fok Tsun-ting criticised the government for lacking a holistic approach in preserving historical buildings. 'Central police station is a precious heritage in itself while the location of the site is also of prized property value ... the government should work out a cultural policy to preserve the station and the other valuable heritages in Hong Kong.' Audrey Eu Yuet-mee said the many voices expressed recently on the Central police station redevelopment showed there was a need to improve policy on heritage preservation. Stephen Ip Shu-kwan, secretary for economic development and labour, said 'open tender is the best method ... to ensure transparency and avoid conflict of interest'.