If Muhyiddin is Malaysia’s first wartime prime minister

It has been said that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is Malaysia’s first wartime prime minister since independence.

Hafiz Hassan, The Malay Mail Online

If that is so, then he needs a war Cabinet. According to Collins Dictionary, a war Cabinet is a committee formed by a government in a time of war.

Muhyiddin’s current Cabinet has 32 ministers, including himself. 38 deputy ministers add to the total number of 70. It was constituted before the war ― a peacetime Cabinet.

But the country is now at war. If Muhyiddin’s peacetime Cabinet is his wartime Cabinet as well, then it is not an efficient way to execute war efforts.

Compare Muhyiddin’s Cabinet with Winston Churchill’s wartime Cabinet of 1940.

In 1940, Britain was confronted with two of the most important questions in her history. The first of the two was who should lead Britain in the war against Nazi Germany. There were 2 candidates but it was Winston Churchill who succeeded Neville Chamberlain as prime minister.

Churchill formed a war Cabinet, initially consisting of the following members:

Prime Minister & Minister of Defence: Winston Churchill (Conservative)

Lord President of the Council: Neville Chamberlain (Conservative)

Lord Privy Seal: Clement Attlee (Labour)

Foreign Secretary: Lord Halifax (Conservative)

Minister without Portfolio: Arthur Greenwood (Labour)

Churchill strongly believed that the war Cabinet should be kept to a relatively small number of individuals to allow efficient execution of the war effort. Even as the war Cabinet would undergo a number of changes in composition over the next five years, Churchill’s own was kept small.

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