Before the Japanese invasion of Malaya, the Japanese…
Situated 8 kms off Borneo adjacent to Sabah and Brunei, Labuan consists of Labuan Island and 6 smaller islands. Originally owned by the Sultan of Brunei it was ceded to Britain in the 1840s becoming a crown colony. It was a base for operations against piracy in the South China Sea and a coaling station for the Royal Navy.
Labuan was occupied by the Japanese in December 1941 and renamed Maida Island. It was liberated by forces under General McArthur as part of Operation Oboe Six the liberation of North Borneo. Elements of the 9th Australian Division was landed on 10th June 1945, the islands were cleared of Japanese after some tough fighting in the interior of Labuan Island.
Labuan reverted to British rule as part of British North Borneo becoming part of Malaysia on independence in 1963. Today it is a thriving offshore trading and financial centre.
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 enjoys good climate all year round with daily temperatures averaging between 28 to 32 degrees. The main language is Malay however English is widely spoken.
Labuan has beautiful beaches, it is a world class destination for sport fishing and has some of the best wreck diving sites in Asia. There are significant historical sites to visit such as the beautiful Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery containing 3900 allied graves, the sites of the allied landings and Japanese surrender.
Further details are to be found in the brochure below.