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Labuan In History Labuan, from the Malay word labohan meaning anchorage was inhabited as early as pre-historic time.This was evident by the various ancient artifacts foundon the three islets off Labuan namely Burong, Papan and Enoe, Modern history of Labuan began after the Brunei Sultanate ceded the island to the British in 1846. Labuan was then British Empire's smallestand most easterly colony in the Far East. The British used Labuan as a trading center and naval base to fight pirates in the Brunei Bay. The discovery of coal on the island made Labuan a strategic re-fuelling station for British steamships of the day.

Labuan was proclaimed a duty free port and Rajah James Brooke was Appointed the first Governor of Labuan in 1847. The administration of the island was handed over to North Borneo Chartered Company on 1st January 1890. It was reverted back to British government rule in 1904. The island was placed under the straits settlement Administration in 1907.

The Japanese Imperial Army invaded and occupied Labuan in January 1942. The island was re-named Maedashima or Maeda Island in memory of General Maida, chief commander of the Japanese Forces in Borneo who was killed in an air crasl while enroute from Bintulu to Labuan. The Japanese ruled the island for threeand a half years until 1945.

The liberation of Borneo began on 10th june 1945 when the Allied Forces under the command of General McArthur landed at Labuan with a convoy of 100 shops.

The 9th Australian Division launched an attack supported by massive air and sea bombardments that resulted in the surrender of the Japanese. On 9th september 1945, General Masao Baba, commander of surrender at the Layang-layang beach befone Majar General George F. Wooten, commander of Australian 9th Division Army. The island was placed under British Military Administration before being made a colony of British North Borneo 15 July 1946.

Labuan became independent when it joined the Federation Of Malaysia on 16th september 1963. It was proclaimed a Federal Territory Of Malaysia on 16th April 1984 and declared an International Offshore Finacial Center (IOFC) in October 1990. The right honorable Prime Minister Of Malaysia Y.A.B. Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad pronounced Labuan as a garden island destination on 14th August 1998 - adevelopment that further exalts the historical glory of the island.

Getting To Labuan | Flights Time Table | Taxi Zone | Ferry Time Table | Useful Telephone | History | Pasar Tani | City Map