Britain's loss of Eastern Fleet's main force meant the loss of naval dominance over South China Sea. Japanese army could dominantly advance toward Singapore. Before then, powerful countries built battleship with large caliber of guns by priority, believing that it's impossible to sink it by aircrafts. But the result of the naval combat off the coast of Malaya; the first time that the battleship in combat was sunk only by aircraft attack, changed war strategies into aircraft-oriented.
Surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, in which Japanese army massed aircraft carriers and attacked successfully by aircrafts, also supported the strategy which took on a major significance particularly in the Pacific War.
After the war, British Prime Minister Churchill wrote about the sinking of the advanced battleships, "was the most shocking event in the WWII."