KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 — Barisan Nasional has projected victories in at least 112 seats needed to win the 15th general election with a simple majority, the coalition’s communications director Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek asserted today.

In his daily press conference, the Umno supreme council member claimed that heading into the final stretch of the campaign, BN’s analysis of voter trends showed it to be on track to form the next government on its own.

“I would like to announce that up to this point, Insha’Allah, we will go beyond 112, which is the figure for a simple majority needed for us to lead the government again,” he said.

He said this was because some seats they previously thought would need “damage control” have turned out to otherwise, allowing BN to focus its efforts on convincing undecided voters to back the coalition.

Shabery Cheek also said there were several “hot seats” the coalition was now confident of regaining, based on its assessment at the halfway point of the GE15 campaign.

He singled out Pagoh, where the incumbent is Perikatan Nasional chairman and Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who he said depended heavily on the Chinese vote to win in the previous election.

“But Bersatu will no longer get the Chinese vote, while PAS is weak there,” he explained.

“So, we could have a situation that Bersatu will become headless after this election.”

Muhyiddin first won the primarily-Malay Pagoh in 1995 and has remained its elected representative since.

In this election, he is defending the seat against BN’s Datuk Seri Razali Ibrahim who was previously the Muar MP and Pakatan Harapan’s Iskandar Shah Abdul Rahman.

Shabery Cheek’s focus on Muhyiddin’s seat today appeared to coincide with a Merdeka Center preview that suggested PN was poised to benefit from an anticipated swing in Malay votes.

Merdeka Center director Ibrahim Suffian said there was a prevailing view among Malays that Muhyiddin had been punished for opposing then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the 1MDB scandal in 2015.