Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad vowed stern action against rioters and those behind them in relation to the unrest over the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Subang Jaya.
"The criminals involved in rioting and injuring our security and rescue personnel as well as the damaging of properties will face stern action in accordance with the law.
"To the masterminds, if any, they too will not be let off from facing appropriate punishment," he said in a statement.
Mahathir said he has been briefed by the police on their investigations into the incidents.
"It is clear from the preliminary investigations that there were criminal elements... The issue of race or religion does not arise, even though it revolved around the relocation of the temple," he added.
On Monday, clashes between devotees and hired thugs escalated into a riot.
The temple was supposed to be relocated following a consent judgment despite disagreements over the matter.
Thousands of supporters turned up near the temple in the early hours of Tuesday in a show of support.
This degenerated into a second round of rioting, with Fire and Rescue Department personnel being attacked, landing one of them in the intensive care unit.
Mahathir said the government regretted the irresponsible action of the criminals for creating unrest within the compound of the temple.
He also urged the public not to believe rumours or circulate misinformation on the matter.
"I would like to stress this is a criminal matter, and should not be linked to other elements," he added.