Geography
Labuan comprises one main island and six smaller islets covering an area of 95 sq. km. It is located off the coast of Borneo at Latitude 5 N and Longitude 115 E.

The island is mainly flat and undulating and the highest point is 85 meters above sea level. More than 70 percent of the island is still under vegetation. Land utility is concentrated more on property and industrial use with minimal agricultural activity. Most of the island's prime land, waterfront and suburbs are utilized for residential and tourism development. A sizeable area on the south western side of the island is allocated for shipbuilding,
oil and gas industries and manufacturing activities.

History
Labuan had a glorious history under the rule of various empires. After the demise of the Majapahit Empire in the 14th century, Labuan came under the rule of the Brunei Sultanate. The Island was ceded to the British by the Brunei Sultanate in 1846. The British then officially declared Labuan a colony of the British Empire in 1849 and renamed it Victoria. The British lost its hold over Labuan in 1942 when the Japanese Army occupied the island. The Island was renamed Maeda Island during the Japanese rule. After World War II, the British resumed control of the island until 1963 when Labuan joined Malaysia and became a part of Sabah. The Island became a Federal Territory of Malaysia in 1984. Labuan was declared an International Offshore Financial Centre in 1990.

Time
Local time is GMT + 8 hours.
Sunrise is 0600 hours while sunset is 1830 hours.

Climate
Labuan has a tropical balmy 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.

Currency
Malaysia Ringgit (RM) is the legal medium of exchange in Malaysia. Traveller’s cheques and foreign currency can be converted to RM with commercial banks or authorized money changers. (USD = RM3.8)

Politics
Labuan is a Federal Territory of Malaysia, which is a democracy based on the parliamentary system of government. Labuan is a strategic naval and air force base for East Malaysia, which makes it one of the safest places to visit in the region.

Population (year 2000)
The population of Labuan is 78,000 comprising of 41,900 males and 36,100 females.
Malay - 24,400
Chinese - 9,400
Indian - 900
Other races - 20,900
Foreigners - 22,400

Breakdown By Groups (year 2000)
Under 5 years (10,800)
5 - 14 years (17,900)
15 - 24 years (13,200)
25 - 64 years (34,400)
65 years and above (1,700)

Labor Force (Year 1999)
Males - 16,300 (95% employed)
Females - 15,100 (90% employed)
(Source: Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia, cawangan Sabah)

Religion
Islam is the official religion of Malaysia. Freedom of worship is guaranteed. Places of worship for Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Buddhists are available.

Language

Bahasa Melayu is the national language. However, English, Chinese and Tamil are widely spoken.

Education

The Island has 1 International School, 14 Primary Schools, 7 Secondary Schools, 1 Technical School, 1 Matriculation College and 1 University.

Conveniences
Registered automobiles (Year 1999) - 23,638
Hotel Rooms (Year 2001) - 959

Exchange Control
There is no exchange control in Labuan. There is no restrictions in foreign currency dealings. Funds are freely remitted in any currency other than Malaysian Ringgit.


Land Use
56% developed. Balance 44% in secondary jungle or swamp.

Electricity
122 mw is of which 60 mw is supplied to Sabah. Daily consumption is rated at 39 mw.This means Labuan has an excess capacity of 23 mw.

Water Supply
Present demand rated at 6 million gallons per day (MGD) - 4.2 MGD from Sabah and 2 MGD from Bukit Kuda and Kerupang reservoirs.

Telecommunication
Fibre optic cable enabled.
Network capacity - 15,000 lines.
Present 10,369 telephone Subscribers.

Healthcare
1 hospital with 109 beds; 13 government doctors; 15 private practitioners.

 

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