KUALA LUMPUR: The single mother accused of abusing her maid of three years lives in a duplex at Lanai Kiara but is said to be cash-strapped.
She tried her hand at real estate when the economy was good but returned to working for a maid agency in the recent slowdown.
It is believed that one of her responsibilities at the maid agency was to "sort out" problematic maids.
"She is always complaining about maids in general; sometimes we just tune off when she goes on and on," said a friend who declined to be named.
Described by one resident as "difficult" and another as "rather quarrelsome", the 43-year-old mother is, however, said to be a devoted single mum.
She has a 13-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old autistic son.
"I've been with her and her children on several occasions and she cares for them. Tight as she was, she still bought a gift for her daughter's teacher for Teachers Day last month," said a friend who has known her for some years.
Another resident said the only time she had seen the maid was "a long time ago" when she was brought to the in-house hair salon for a haircut.
Since the woman is well known at the condominium, there has been a lot of buzz following news reports about the alleged abuse case, with even those who have moved out calling the hair salon to ask if it was the same woman.
The embassy said yesterday that it would do its best to ensure that Siti got back her RM17,000 unpaid salary.
The embassy's information, social and cultural affairs department third secretary Soneta Asmara said the embassy would also offer shelter to the maid once she was discharged from University Malaya Medical Centre.
"This is not the first time an Indonesian maid is abused, but it does not mean that all Malaysian employers are like that," she said.