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
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.
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
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