From: Eastern US
. . . when Air Chief Marshall Sir Robert Brooke-Popham was the overall commander of British forces in Malaya, Burma and China until December 27th, 1941?
One reason might be that he was a lame duck -- Churchill told him in November that he was going to be relieved. Another might be that he only had a staff of seven [?!] which made it harder for him to exercise control as C-in-C. But he had the responsibility for the defense of Malaya, and was given the authority to order Operation Matador (the pre-emptive occupation of the beaches and airfields in Thailand). B-P ordered the advance into Thailand on December 6th, when it might have done some good, but he dithered and postponed the advance until after the Japanese had already landed.
I guess the designers had a difficult choice -- unlike Pearl Harbor, where Kimmell and Short have different commands (Navy and Land) in Malaya Percival commanded the ground forces and reported to Brooke-Popham, who commanded all the air and ground forces in the theatre.
WitP-AE -- US LCU & AI Stuff
Oddball: Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?