KUALA LUMPUR: Cuepacs president Datuk Azih Muda today urged the government to introduce tighter housing development regulations to prevent fraud. He said he had received complaints from members that developers had failed to deliver the houses they have purchased, at times the housing projects themselves having barely started. "All in all, I estimate that Cuepacs members have been cheated of about RM50 million in 20 different housing projects in Malaysia in the past 10 years," he told a press conference in Cuepacs headquarters today. Azih said he had conducted site visits to several projects in Kelantan, where many of the affected are members of the armed forces who were posted in bases in the state. He had also received reports of unfinished housing projects in Kuala Kangsar, Kuala Terengganu, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu and avenues of redress for purchasers are lacking. According to his knowledge, only two such developers have been brought to court and the fines that were imposed upon them pales in comparison to the profits they made by swindling their customers. "The courts fined them in between RM40 million and RM 50 million, but they raked in profits of more than RM200 million. This is nothing to them," Azih said. He added that he is ready to meet with the government, especially the Urban Wellbeing, Housing, and Local Government Ministry, to discuss the matter and propose stricter regulations. Meanwhile, Azih also called on the government review the Goods and Services Tax (GST) so that essential items, especially food, that children, the old, the poor, and the disabled frequently buy will be exempted from the tax. He said it is undeniable that the new tax had brought in much more revenue for the government, but this should not be done at the expense of the people especially among the more vulnerable groups. "From what I've heard, the GST is currently bringing in five to six times more in taxes than the Sales and Services Tax (SST). That is a good thing but cost of living is skyrocketing and we need to protect the people," Azih said.