Gaspar gets in the spirit

AS managing director in Hong Kong of Asian brewery giant San Miguel, genial Gaspar Fernando brings to his job the kind of bonhomie that is readily associated with the dedicated pastime of beer drinking.

But he does seem to have, dare we say, a misguided opinion of us hacks - that's if the invitation he has just sent us for San Miguel's annual press dinner is anything to go by.

Though by tradition a raucous affair, Gaspar's invitation does seem to indicate that the eagerly-awaited occasion may be taking a new direction.

For it details that dinner will start at 7 pm followed by a speech from Gaspar at 7.05 pm. Then from 8 pm onwards, the rest of the evening appears to be devoted to drinking beer.

Five minutes for eating and the rest of the time set aside for boozing? Good grief - what does the man take us journos for?