Prescott said he has spoken to Najib about Hindu groups' complaints that their temples were being closed down in Malaysia.[Source]
He said Najib indicated that some of the cases were due to building permit problems.
Prescott said Britain, too, had faced such issues with gypsy groups building without permission.
According to the Wikipedia, this is the issue they are having:
Planning issues in the UK
Recent criticism against Travellers in the UK centers on Travellers who have bought land, built amenities without planning permission, then fought eviction attempts by claiming it would be an abuse of human rights to remove them from their homes. The families applied for retrospective planning permission whilst they were living on their land. This received much media attention during the British 2005 General Election, after it was brought up by former Conservative Party leader Michael Howard.
The use of retrospective planning permission arose after the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which Michael Howard brought through the Commons, started closing down many of the sites originally provided for the community. Howard advised that Travellers should buy their own land instead and assurances were made that they would be allowed to settle it.
However, a block to Travellers' attempts to follow this advice has emerged since, with a 2003 government survey finding that 96% of Travellers who applied for planning permission to settle on their land have had permission refused, compared to figures of less than 30% for the general population. Travellers have said that unless they use the retrospective technique, the closure of the caravan sites leaves them effectively homeless and unable to settle. Support networks have also pointed out that the number of retrospective planning applications brought by Travellers is dwarfed by both commercial and settled applications.
In a spate of 2004-5 evictions, concerns were raised internationally over the treatment of Travellers, and allegations have been made of violence used in eviction attempts by publicly contracted groups, such as assault, and destruction of traveller property (e.g., burning of caravans). Dale Farm, in Basildon, Essex has become the focus of a major legal case, as the council have refused to provide alternative sites for the travellers who currently occupy the ex-waste ground.
Mr. John Prescott, first of all, the Hindus in Malaysia are not nomads like gypsies. Secondly, they are rightful citizens of Malaysia by the law and Constitution, which promises the freedom of religion and worship. Third, don't tell me that your Gypsies had built those settlements a century ago?
Please brush up on your blatant ignorance on the background of your ex-colony before visiting us!
Since his Office of the DPM has closed down since the last cabinet reshuffle, his office now is the Department for Communities and Local Government. The contact details is here. Alternatively, you may want to write to Tony Blair to tell him how you feel about his statement.
Read the background on the temple cleansing in Malaysia here.