PETALING JAYA - Taiwanese actress Celia Chang was the one who bought Datuk Mohd Nazifuddin Najib meals during their outing in Taipei on Thursday, and she did not sleep with him.
In a post on Facebook yesterday afternoon, the person-in-charge from Chang's management agency said the actress did not receive any money or gift from the son of embattled former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"We ask all to stay calm and stop defaming her," the post read.
On Friday, Taiwan's Apple Daily carried an exclusive report on Chang and Mohd Nazifuddin canoodling in Taipei's Xinyi district.
They were seen sharing two bottles of red wine in a restaurant before making a trip to a massage parlour.
Next, they enjoyed a candlelight dinner, chilled at a pub for two hours and then took a taxi to a hotel at 1am.
In a follow-up, the Taiwanese news portal said Chang claimed that they were just drinking at a bar in the hotel where Mohd Nazifuddin was staying.
She took a cab home after that and did not spend the night with him.
She also strongly denied that they had kissed, saying it was just a way of saying goodbye.
Their outing - a day after Najib was released on bail following his arrest on Tuesday for his role in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal - drew heavy condemnation from Malaysians.
Many left nasty comments on Chang's Facebook page, while some also spoke out in defence of her.
The person-in-charge from Chang's management agency said the actress had taken note of the comments and she thanked them for their concern.
"For Chang, this case will not be prolonged. We ask all not to worry," she wrote in Chinese.
She added that the agency reserved the right to take legal action over insulting, intimidating and bullying comments.
According to a friend of Chang quoted by Apple Daily, Mohd Nazifuddin had begun pursuing her a year ago, but she had a boyfriend and the courtship was not too direct.
It was only recently when Chang was single again that he began pursuing her in earnest, but their status was still ambiguous and the two were not an official couple.
Meanwhile, Mohd Nazifuddin's Facebook page showed that the comments section of his post was filled with red wine GIFs yesterday.
On The Star Online's Facebook page, many Malaysians were up in arms over images of Mohd Nazifuddin with Chang.
Pari Sivagi disapproved of the apparent gallivanting during trying times.
"Shows how much he loves his dad ... and to think Najib went all way out to provide comfortable lives for his children and spouse that landed him in trouble in the first place," she said.
Shirley Ng had one word for such conduct: "Shame."
"Your dad's in hot soup (sic) and you're enjoying yourself???" she added.
The seeming lack of filial piety was also a sore point for Adrian Tay.
"Just showed how concerned he was for his father and how much he cared for his father in trying times," he said.
Another disapproving party was Md Reduan, who felt Mohd Nazifuddin should have used the money to help with Najib's fund-raiser instead of flying to another country to "enjoy with other woman".
However, Cassius Pereira brushed off the news: "So what? A free man can't go on a date? He is not the one on trial."
David Bunyau did not share the same forgiving view: "Najib's son is spending lavishly while his father's diehard supporters are seeking donations in public."
Ahmad Amirulhafiz, who identified as a Pakatan Harapan supporter, offered a measured response as he does not condone public shaming.
"What he did outside Malaysia privately is up to him.
"But, since his father is currently crowdfunding, and his siblings' bank accounts are frozen, I think instead of saying they can't pay bills, why not lend them some money?" he said.
On the other hand, Usha Krishnan wondered if PAS would censor Mohd Nazifuddin for drinking alcohol and canoodling with a woman who was not his wife.
"PAS was quick to criticise a minister wearing shorts to jog," she said.