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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

—  Federal Territory  —


Location in Malaysia
Coordinates: 5°19′13.16″N 115°12′40.42″E / 5.3203222°N 115.2112278°E / 5.3203222; 115.2112278Coordinates: 5°19′13.16″N 115°12′40.42″E / 5.3203222°N 115.2112278°E / 5.3203222; 115.2112278
Country Malaysia
State Wilayah Persekutuan
Made into
16 April 1984
 - Administered by Perbadanan Labuan
Labuan Corporation
 - Chairman Dato' Ahmad Phesal Talib
 - Total 85 km2 (1,058.8 sq mi)
Population (2009 est.)
 - Total 90,000
 Density 1,058.8/km2 (2,742.3/sq mi)
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 - Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)
Mean solar time UTC+06:46:40

Labuan is the main island of the Malaysian Federal Territory of Labuan. Labuan is best known as an offshore financial centre offering international financial and business services via Labuan IBFC since 1990 as well as a tourist destination for nearby Bruneians and scuba divers. The name Labuan derives from the Malay word labuhan meaning anchorage.



Labuan viewed from flight during descent to Kota Kinabalu

The Federal Territory of Labuan comprises Labuan Island (75 km²) and six other smaller islands (Pulau Burung, Pulau Daat, Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Papan, Pulau Rusukan Kecil, and Pulau Rusukan Besar), which have a combined total area of 92 km². The islands lie 8 km off the coast of Borneo, adjacent to the Malaysian state of Sabah and the independent state of Brunei Darussalam, on the northern edge of Brunei Bay facing the South China Sea. Labuan Island is mainly flat and undulating and the highest point is only 85 meters. Over 70% of the island is still covered with vegetation. Bandar Labuan, formerly known as Victoria, is the major town to Labuan Port Jetty,Labuan Airport and faces Brunei Bay.


The territory of Labuan is subdivided into administrative districts:

  1. Kampung Tanjung Aru
  2. Batu Arang
  3. Batu Manikar
  4. Bandar Labuan
  5. Layang-Layangan
  6. Lubok Temiang
  7. Rancha-Rancha
  8. Kampung Tanjong Kubong
  9. Kampung Bukit Kalam
  10. Kampung Patau-Patau I & II
  11. Kampung Pohon Batu
  12. Kiamsam
  13. kampung Sungai Bedaun
  14. Kampung Sungai Pagar
  15. Kampung Sungai Labu


Labuan Island and outlying islands

Labuan was a part of the Brunei Sultanate.

In the 1840s the previously-uninhabited island was proposed as a base for British operations against piracy in the South China Sea. The Sultan of Brunei ceded Labuan to Britain in 1846, and the island became a Crown Colony in 1848[1]. The first White Rajah of Sarawak, James Brooke was appointed first commander-in-chief and Governor of the territory. In 1849 the Eastern Archipelago Company became the first of many companies trying to exploit its coal deposits and establish it as a coaling station for the China trade. It later became a station for the submarine cable between Singapore and Hong Kong.

It was made a part of North Borneo on 1 January 1890, then on 30 October 1906 joined to the Straits Settlements.

During World War II, Labuan was occupied by Japan from December 1941 to June 1945 and governed as part of the Northern Borneo military unit by the Japanese 37th Army. Labuan was renamed Maida Island (Pulau Maida, 前田島 [Maeda-shima]) after Marquis Toshinari Maeda, the first commander of Japanese forces in northern Borneo. The island was retaken by Australian forces in Operation Oboe Six, in June 1945. Labuan assumed its former name and was under British military administration (along with the rest of the Straits Settlements), then joined to British North Borneo, on 15 July 1946, which in turn became a part of Malaysia as the state of Sabah in 1963.

In 1984, Labuan was ceded by Sabah to the federal government and made a federal territory. In 1990, it was declared an international offshore financial centre and free trade zone. The Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC) was created as Malaysia’s only offshore financial hub on October 1990 and was operating under the name of Labuan International Offshore Financial Centre (IOFC). At the time it was established to strengthen the contribution of financial services to the Gross National Products (GNP) of Malaysia as well as to develop the island and its surrounding vicinity. The jurisdiction, supervised by the Labuan Offshore Financial Services Authority or LOFSA, offers benefits such as 3% tax on net audited results or a flat rate of Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) 20,000 to trading companies; low operational costs; liberal exchange controls; and a host of other advantages including readily available, experienced and professional service providers.

Since its inception, the jurisdiction has expanded to become a base for more than 6,500 offshore companies and more than 300 licensed financial institutions including world leading banks. Labuan IBFC is embarking on an aggressive growth strategy to become the premier international business and financial centre in the Asia Pacific region.

Labuan's business focus is on five core areas: offshore holding companies, captive insurance, Shariah-compliant Islamic Finance structures, public and private funds and wealth management. Labuan IBFC’s position is further enhanced by the launch of the Malaysian International Islamic Finance Centre initiative in August 2006.



Defence is the responsibility of the federal government, with naval patrol vessels, a garrison and an air detachment based on the island. The vigilance of the local Coast Guard and Customs and Excise contribute to the maintenance of Labuan's reputation and status as an international offshore financial centre and free trade zone.


According to Labuan Corporation, ethnic composition in 2005 in Labuan was: Malay mainly Brunei Malay and Kedayan (30,300), Ethnic Chinese (10,300), Kadazan Dusun (5,500), Bajau (4,800), Murut (700), other races (13,300) and foreigner (18,600).

Attractions and places of interest

There are several attractions and places of interest on Labuan. The military cemetery contains various war graves and memorials to the fallen of World War II. This includes British, Australian, Indian, Sarawakian, Bruneian, North Borneo and Empire troops. There is also a memorial celebrating the surrender of the Japanese to the Australian Forces in 1945. There are also remnants of Labuan's history as a Royal Navy Coaling station, including 'the chimney', a well known local landmark. There is also a Labuan Maritime Museum.

Labuan is also the base for diving on four popular wreck dives: the Cement wreck, the American wreck, the Australian wreck and the Blue Water wreck.[2]

Labuan has many schools. However, it has only one international school, Labuan International School.[3] Other places of interest include the Labuan International Sea Sport Complex. Newly proposed is the Marina centre and Labuan Square project which are expected to be completed in next two years from 2008.

Labuan's own institution of higher education is Universiti Malaysia Sabah Labuan International Campus,[4], a branch of Universiti Malaysia Sabah in Sepanggar Bay, Kota Kinabalu.

Postage stamps and postal history

1885 2c, used in 1891

A post office was operating in Labuan by 1864, and used a circular date stamp as postmark. The postage stamps of India and Hong Kong were used on some mail, but they were probably carried there by individuals, instead of being on sale in Labuan. Mail was routed through Singapore. From 1867 Labuan officially used the postage stamps of the Straits Settlements, then issued its own beginning in May 1879.

The first stamps of Labuan depict the usual profile of Queen Victoria, but are unusual for being inscribed in Arabic and Chinese scripts in addition to "LABUAN POSTAGE". Perennial shortages necessitated a variety of surcharges in between the several reprints and colour changes of the 1880s. The original stamps were engraved, but the last of the design, in April 1894, were done by lithography.

Beginning in May 1894, the designs of North Borneo were printed in different colours, with "LABUAN" either engraved into the vignette or overprinted. On 24 September 1896, the 50th anniversary of the cession was marked by overprinting "1846 / JUBILEE / 1896" on the overprinted North Borneo designs. Additional overprints appeared through the 1890s. In 1899 many types were surcharged with a value of 4 cents.

A last Labuan-only design came out in 1902, depicting a crown and inscribed "LABUAN COLONY". After incorporation into the Straits Settlements in 1906, Labuan ceased issuing its own stamps, although they remained valid for some time. Many of the remainders were cancelled to order for sale to collectors, and are now worth only pennies; genuine postal uses are worth much more.


  • The history of Labuan Island (Victoria Island) (1996) Stephen R. Evans, Abdul Rahman Zainal and Rod Wong Khet Ngee. Singapore: Calendar Print


External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Labuan is a group of one large and six smaller islands off Sabah in East Malaysia.

  • Pulau Labuan - the main island
  • Pulau Daat
  • Pulau Burung
  • Pulau Kuraman
  • Pulau Papan
  • Pulau Rusukan Besar
  • Pulau Rusukan Kecil


Labuan is an Island with an estimated population of 80,000 people. Its quite a small community where everyone knows everyone. Labuan was proclaimed Federal Territory on 16/04/1984 and declared an International Offshore Financial Centre on 1/10/1990. A few of the major business that is run on the island are the International Offshore Bankings, Steel mills, Methanol plant, floor tiles production, flour mill as well as offshore supplies. Because of those major businesses, Labuan has a lot of non-Labuan people that work here.


Labuan island is located off the northwest coast of Borneo, north of Brunei Bay and faces the South China Sea. It comprises of the main island of Pulau Labuan and six smaller islands namely Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Daat, Pulau Rusukan Besar, Pulau Rusukan Kecil, Pulau Papan and Pulau Burung. It is located at 05 latitude North and 115 longitude East, and lies approximately 10 km southeast off the coast of the East Malaysian state of Sabah.

Labuan is only 8km or twenty minute boat ride from Menumbok, a small fishing town in Sabah. High speed air-conditioned ferries ply daily to Labuan from Sabah, Sarawak and Negara Brunei Darussalam. The trip from Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah takes about 3 hours and about an hour from Negara Brunei Darussalam. It is roughly equidistant from Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore. There are direct flights from Kuala Lumpur as well as from Brunei.

The island is mainly flat and undulating and the highest point is only 85 metres. More than 70 percent of the island is still under vegetation. Due to the fact that land utility is geared more towards property and industrial use, there is less agricultural activity in the area. Most of the island's prime land, waterfront and suburbs are utilised for residential and tourism development. A sizeable area on the south western side of the island is utilised by shipbuilding, manufacturing and oil and gas industries.

Labuan has a tropical climate with two annual monsoon seasons - the South West monsoon from April to June and the North East monsoon from September to December. It is free from hurricanes and typhoons and enjoys good climate all year round. Daily temperatures average between 28 to 32 degrees celsius.


English & Malay is widely spoken. Major chinese dialects (especially Hokkien) are spoken among the Chinese community. There are also dialects within Malay, such as Kedayan.

Get in

By plane

There are daily flights from Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia as well as thrice daily flights to Miri with MASWings [1].

By boat

You can arrive in Labuan by ferry from Brunei, Kota Kinabalu, Lawas, Limbang, Sipitang and Menumbok, where a vehicular ferry operates. Labuan is the usual port for changing boats for those getting from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in a day by sea. See the Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in a day page for details.

  • To/from Brunei: Five ferries daily, with additional services during the weekends, run between Labuan and the Serasa Ferry Terminal in Muara, Brunei.
  • To/from Kota Kinabalu: At least two ferries daily at 08:30 and 13:00. From Kota Kinabalu, ferries depart at 08:00 and 13:30. The journey takes about 1 and a half hours.
  • To/from Lawas: One trip daily, departing Lawas at 08:00 and Labuan at 12:30.
  • To/from Limbang: Two trips daily, departing Limbang at 07:30 and 08:00 and Labuan at 12:30 and 14:00.
  • To/from Sipitang: Two ferries daily, departing Sipitang at 09:00 and 10:00 and Labuan at 09:00 and 13:00.

Get around

Ferries run regularly between Labuan and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and Muara, Brunei There are also regular flights from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu . All flights land at the Labuan Airport or Lapangan Terbang Labuan.. a taxi to the town costs around RM 8

  • Duty-Free Shopping - This is one of Labuan's known attractions. Its modern shopping centres carry a wide range of locally-produced as well as imported goods. Most popular are spirits and tobacco, textiles and appliances. Every end of the year, the island hosts a month-long shopping carnival with attractive discounts. Cultural shows add to the excitement
  • International Offshore Financial Centre - Pulau Labuan is Asia's newest international offshore financial centre. The 65 foreign banks operating on the island offer sophisticated offshore banking services and numbered accounts facilities to the world's rich and famous.
  • World Class Sport Fishing Destination - Pulau Labuan is surrounded by six smaller islands namely Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Daat, Pulau Rusukan Besar, Pulau Rusukan Kecil, Pulau Papan and Pulau Burong. The blue clear water around these idyllic islands is home to one of the world's richest coral and fishing grounds which offers unlimited deep sea tackling and coastal table-fish catches.
  • World War II Sites - Pulau Labuan is a significant historical destination particularly from the time of World War II. The Labuan War Cemetery, Allied Landing Point and Japanese Surrender Park are three major World War II sites attracting foreign and local visitors alike. A "Remembrance Day" is held every November at the Labuan War Cemetery to honour the 3,900 recorded graves of Fallen Heroes of World War II. This event is attended by Malaysian and foreign war veterans and family members of the Allied soldiers killed in action during the war between 1942 and 1945.
  • International Sea Sport Complex - Besides the various activities already mentioned, Labuan also hosts the International Sea Challenge in May every year which comprises of four events - the Underwater Treasure Hunt, Jet Sport Challenge, Cross Channel Swim Challenge and Big Game Fishing Tournament.
  • Wreck Diving - Pulau Labuan has one of the best wreck diving sites in Asia. There are four wreck sites on the island's locally known as The "Australian" Wreck, The "American" Wreck, The "Blue Water" Wreck and The "Cement" Wreck.
  • The Chimney - The Chimney is just a short drive from the town just like any other destination due to the island size. It is where the coal mining was done in the early days. However no one knows the true purpose of the chimney.
  • Bird Park - The bird park is just opposite of the Chimney. Consist of 3 major dome connected together. Houses a number of species of bird. Entrance is 3 RM for locals and 5 RM for foreigners.
  • Beach - As the Pearl of South China Sea, it has beautiful stretches of beach. The famous ones are Pohon Batu and Pancur Hitam where the locals hang out and have a BBQ picnic during the weekend.


Although it's a duty-free island, the things here are not that cheap. However, the followed items should be cheaper than other places:

  • Pearl & crystals - Made into jewelleries like brooch, bracelets, pendants, earrings, and baju Melayu buttons. Bazaar Labuan is a good place to shop for them.
  • Cars - Especially imported ones. But, they are subjected to taxes when transported out of the island.
  • Chocolate - Lots of choices too, that hard to be found in Peninsular.
  • Cigarette - The price is half of the Peninsular's, but the flavor is not that desirable to some smokers.
  • Alcohol
  • Batik sarongs (RM10 is reasonable and normal price in Malaysia, if more than that, than You shouldn't buy it!)
  • Seafood - Wet Market near Bazaar Labuan is a recommended place. You can even ask the sellers to pack the items frozen-ready for flights. Recommended place to buy frozen ready seafood is SBS Seafood Sdn. Bhd in the center of Labuan's town. Just ask the local or taxi's driver, they can show you where is the shop. Recommended to buy - frozen fish coated with flour which is RM14 per bag, deep-fried it; very crunchy + boneless fish!

Things that are really exorbitant here:

  • Computer stuff - sometimes almost double the Peninsular's.
  • Electronics


All food, especially fresh seafood, is extremely well priced. But if you get the locals as a guide, they can show you some cheaper alternatives instead.

It is said that if you come to Labuan, it's a must to enjoy its crab delicacies. "Anjung Ketam", at Tanjung Aru (not that Tanjung Aru in Kota Kinabalu) is well-known for crab dishes. This food court consists of 4 stalls, all serving fresh crabs , lobsters and other seafoods. Advance bookings are advised, especially if you want your foods to ready by the time you come, and also some ingredients may have run out if you don't book early ahead. Some of the examples are crab curry, crab in butter milk, and just boiled crab (locals prefer this because they say it retains most of the crab taste).

"Mawilla Seafood Restaurant" is the best restaurant in Labuan that serves seafood delicacies - fresh fish (which you can choose), prawn, lobster and squids. Try the Butter Milk Prawn and Nestum Prawn menu. The best in Borneo!. Located at the sea shore of Labuan, near to Labuan Waterfront Hotel. The price is reasonable and worth it!

The most famous local dessert is "Coconut Puding", which you wouldn't be able to find in anywhere else. Good coconut pudings can be found in Pulau Labuan Restaurant with RM6 each.

BBQ chicken wings are a Labuan delicacy. They are cooked on skewers over smoky charcoal and wood barbeques. 6 chicken wings for RM6.


Labuan is well-known for its duty free especially alcohols. The main entertainment in Labuan is its night clubs and lounges

Some of the famous places where people go:

  • POPIN -
  • Sheraton's Some Place Else (SPE) at the Grand Dorsett Hotel
  • Jungle Park
  • Kings KTV
  • Strawberry KTV
  • The Relax
  • Crossroads
  • Jupiter 8 (closed down)

Stay safe

Labuan is a very safe town. It is a very peaceful place and the people are very nice and friendly. Except road blocks with JPJ (local Department Motor Vehicle), police presence is pretty hard to notice, possibly because of the calmness and peace of the town.

You can notice lots of people jogging around in the evenings, even in the secluded roads in the hills, without fear of being mugged, like in other big cities.

Crime rate is very low, except once in a while, there used to be physical arguments between the immigrants, but only among themselves, not involving others.

Roads are not busy, except occasionally in town. The driving attitude of people here are quite leisure, so it's common to have a car cruising in front of you very very slow without any purpose. There are lots of jaywalkers, and pedestrians crossing the road don't practice much caution. So, just be careful if you're driving.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun




  1. Federal territory in eastern Malaysia which has Victoria as its main town.

Simple English

File:Labuan Financial Park -
The Labuan Financial Park.

Labuan is an island which is also the Federal Territory in Malaysia. It is located on the northeastern part of the island of Borneo facing the South China Sea.[1]


Other websites

States and Federal Territories of Malaysia
States: Johor | Kedah | Kelantan | Malacca | Negeri Sembilan | Pahang | Perak | Perlis | Penang | Sabah | Sarawak | Selangor | Terengganu
Federal Territories: Kuala Lumpur | Labuan | Putrajaya


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