A RESTAURANT in upscale Jakarta has apologized for putting up a sign explicitly telling refugees to stay away, after receiving heated criticism on social media.
Ya Udah Bistro, which specializes in European (German) cuisine, put up the offending sign at its Menteng premises in Central Jakarta. “No outside food or drinks,” it read at the top, followed by “Everybody welcome to our place of business”.
Then a few lines below, without any hint of irony, the sign states: “We are not a refugee center or picnic area.” The sign went on to elaborate: “If you are fresh off the boat from Iran or Iraq, Somalia or Bangla Desh [sic], you are probably in the wrong place.”
Reminding readers that the restaurant is a for-profit enterprise and that outside food and drink are prohibited, the sign went on to say: “Go down the road to Taman Suropati if you wish to picnic.”
— Samantha Hawley (@samanthahawley) May 11, 2016
Predictably, Twitter erupted in outrage.
— Shaffira D. Gayatri (@firahermana) May 10, 2016
Because of the incident, many said they would avoid giving the restaurant their patronage.
— Sayang (@__azza) May 10, 2016
Ya Udah Bistro’s management told The Jakarta Post that the sign was a “joke” by one of its “creative staff.”
“Though we did not have any bad intentions, a bad joke is a bad joke. And for that, we simply learned and apologize,” said Rakhmat Ichsan, a restaurant representative.
The sign has since been removed.
— Anggi Agistaria (@angiagis) May 11, 2016
At least one Twitter user posted an image purportedly of a message from Ya Udah Bistro, claiming that the designer responsible for the sign was terminated and the relevant management staff rebuked for not reviewing the sign.
But some believed that this was unfair.
Can't believe @YaUdahBistro fired the designer who came up with the idea of the sign. It's the management whom should take responsibility.
— danu ie (@danu_ie) May 12, 2016