An estimated 30,000 people gathered last night at a Pakatan Rakyat rally in BN's traditional stronghold of Negri Sembilan last night despite the rain, to witness the launch of the People's Uprising Assembly campaign.

Thousands of umbrellas dotted the venue, a vacant plot of land in Seremban Jaya, to listen to Pakatan's top brass - PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang - delivered speeches until close to midnight.

pakatan seremban mega rally 031112 anwarLeading the charge was Anwar (right) who reported that his travels across Sabah and Sarawak had shown that the people of East Malaysia are yearning for Pakatan's takeover of Putrajaya.

He urged the people of peninsular Malaysia to be ready and join their brethren in East Malaysia in bringing change.

"East Malaysians are ready. What about you?" charged Anwar, to the emphatic replies of "We are ready!" from the crowd.

Anwar warned that the next general election will be the "dirtiest" ever and the ruling party would be depending on an electoral roll tainted with dubious voters to stay in power.

'Emulate Obama, let's debate'

With the help of a large screen projector, Anwar displayed several examples of how the electoral roll was allegedly tainted, to which the audience responded with gasps of disapproval.

"I hope that when Parliament is dissolved, you will help us look out for dubious voters. Don't let the phantoms prevail. I hope there will be millions of people monitoring the balloting," he said.

Anwar said that another criterion for fair elections was to have equal media access, particularly television airtime.

pakatan seremban mega rally 031112 copsMockingly, Anwar said that when BN chairperson Najib Abdul Razak becomes the opposition leader after the next general election, the media won't be stopped from reporting on him.

"The night we enter Putrajaya, we will allow the opposition leader airtime and allow reporters to visit his house and ask him how it feels to be opposition leader," he said.

Drawing from the ongoing US presidential race, Anwar said Barrack Obama's campaign to seek a second term involved three rounds of televised debates against his opponent, Mitt Romney.

In contrast, he said Najib does not have the courage or conviction to face him in a televised debate.

Najib's records

Meanwhile, Lim told the crowd that Najib has attained the unenviable record of being a prime minister without a mandate for the longest period.

"The second record is having the longest session of Parliament. Third? People now are calling him the last BN prime minister," said Lim.

pakatan seremban mega rally 031112 mat sabuIn view of the overwhelming response to the first leg of the People's Uprising Assembly, PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu (right) declared that Negri Sembilan is Pakatan's next frontline state.

"Why did we choose Negeri Sembilan? Because this is our next frontline state. Come voting day, once results are announced by 7pm, we will be at the state government headquarters," he said.

Mohamad also announced that the next rally would be held in Kota Baru, Kelantan on Nov 16, while similar events are being planned for Pahang, Kedah, Johor, Perak, Malacca, Penang and Perlis.

He said that the roadshows will culminate with a rally on Jan 12 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium.

Most mainstream news reports consider the event at Seremban last night to be a washout, for failing to attract the targeted 50,000.

However, the crowd estimates vary. Berita Harian estimated 10,000 while China Press estimated 30,000.