He told FMT there are two camps pushing for their choice of candidate.
The 84-year-old, better known as Ku Li, is a member of Malay royalty and has served as MP since 1974 while Ismail has incumbency on his side.
Meanwhile, the party insider said more Umno MPs holding government positions are likely to resign from their posts.
“They should be announcing their resignations soon,” he added.
Earlier today, Shamsul Anuar Nasarah resigned as the Perikatan Nasional-led government’s energy and natural resources minister.
Earlier, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that Umno had decided to withdraw support for the PN government, barely a month after it officially retracted support for Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister.
The move leaves the PN government, which is heavily dependent on Umno’s support, in limbo.
Zahid went on to say that there were sufficient statutory declarations (SDs) from Umno MPs declaring that they were withdrawing support for Muhyiddin as the prime minister.
He said he had already presented the SDs to the King. FREE MALAYSIA TODAY
Dr Mahathir pleads with Putrajaya to allow setting up of recovery council
On Sunday, Dr Mahathir said his NRC would be capped at 20 members so that it can function quickly.
He said it would comprise four politicians, five people for economic matters, six doctors, two individuals on legal issues and three on education.
Dr Mahathir said that they hope to set up the council soon to help the people with number of cases spiking to more than 17,000.
“There are too many cases now and it is hard to handle. I hope the government doesn’t think we are enemies and want to bring the government down.
“We just want permission to set up the council.”
On July 16, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said a national recovery council has been formed to supervise the execution of the national recovery plan.
He said the council will replace the special cabinet committee formed to manage the recovery plan previously, and will be chaired by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Tengku Zafrul, the minister coordinating the recovery, said the new council will bring in members from the private sector, civil society groups and industry experts.
He also said that this decision was aligned with the whole-of-nation approach formulated by the government to guide Malaysia out of the pandemic in a programmatic and safe fashion.
As for Dr Mahathir’s council, he suggested former international trade and industry minister Rafidah Aziz, businessmen Mohamed Azman Yahya and Mohd Hassan Merican, and economists Lin See Yan and Prof Dr Jomo K. Sundram.
For the healthcare slots, Dr Mahathir proposed Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman, Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Prof Dr Lam Sai Kit, Dr Musa Nordin, Dr Amar Singh HSS and Dr Kumitaa Theva Das.
For education, the Pejuang chairman proposed Tunku Ali Redhauddin Tuanku Muhriz, Mohd Shukri Ab Yajid and Samuel Isaiah while for legal matters, he suggested Prof Shad Saleem Faruqi and Prof Salleh Buang.
The four politicians would be Azalina Othman Said, Hannah Yeoh, Fahmi Fadzil and Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
Dr Mahathir said the government could not handle the Covid-19 pandemic so they suggested for the council to tackle the issue.
“We suggested a council with experts separated from cabinet but the government came up with their own council.
“I still believe our council is still relevant. But, we can always discuss who to be selected for the council. We need experts in health, microbiology and other relevant fields.
“I believe this council will be able to solve the (pandemic) problems. But my suggestion was not accepted by the government.” TMI
FREE MALAYSIA TODAY / THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT