Civil rights campaigners are hoping thousands of people will gather today to voice support for opposition leader J. B. Jeyaretnam, who faces expulsion from Parliament after being declared bankrupt. The evening rally is a rare show of force by the city-state's fragmented and marginalised non-government groups, which secured permission for the event only after protracted negotiations with the authorities. Jacob George, spokesman for Think Centre, the main organising body, said yesterday that the meeting at the Yio Chu Kang Stadium could be the biggest opposition event held outside a general election for decades. 'We put the target at 3,000 to 5,000 people, but it could be more.' Mr Jeyaretnam, head of the Workers' Party and a Non-Constituency MP, was declared bankrupt this year after failing to make libel payments on time. Over the years, the country's best-known anti-establishment figure has lost a host of libel and defamation cases, many of which have been brought by members of the ruling People's Action Party. Under Singapore law if he fails to clear his debts before the next general election, he will not be allowed to contest the polls. Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong must call elections by August next year, and many observers expect him to opt for a date in the second half of this year. Mr George said the 'Save JBJ Rally' would allow people to express their support for the opposition figure. Organisers would sell stickers, books and T-shirts to raise funds both to cover the cost of the rally and use any remaining proceeds to help Mr Jeyaretnam, one of only three opposition members in the 93-strong legislature. While Mr Jeyaretnam's cause will form the main focus of the event, speakers are expected to launch attacks on the ruling party. The Government has been described by some observers as authoritarian, but others praise it for its success in developing the economy, raising living standards and eradicating corruption. Think Centre was given the go-ahead for the rally this week after lengthy discussions with police to agree upon conditions, including the hiring of personnel to marshal the expected crowds. Initially, permission was rejected because of 'potential law and order problems'. James Gomez, head of the Think Centre, described the licensing procedure as 'cumbersome and inefficient' and 'shrouded in mystery'. The police responded that it was 'straightforward'.