In the early as the 11th century, Labuan came under the rule of the Majapahit Empire but after the fall of Majapahit in the 14th century, Labuan came under the rule of the Brunei Sultanate.
In 1846, The British declared Labuan their colony and changed the name to Port Victoria. Labuan became one of the four important Straits Settlements, making its port city a free port for hundreds of merchants who settled there.
In 1847, Coal was mined on the island until the demise of the industry in 1911. The first mining company was called the Eastern Archipelago Company.
On 1963, Labuan (being part of British North Borneo [now known as “Sabah”]) joined the Federation of Malay States together with Singapore and Sarawak to form the Federation of Malaysia. Singapore withdrew from the Federation in 1965.
In 1984, Labuan was declared a Federal Territory. The effect of this declaration is that Labuan will thenceforth comes under the control of the Federal Government.
In October 1990, Labuan was declared an International Financial Centre and offers the advantages of a carefully structured Financial Centre propelled by the commitment and resources of all of Malaysia and its economically dynamic Policies.
The island’s deep natural harbours had provided shelters against the monsoons to mariners for centuries, that was how the island got its name. “Labohan” a malay word meaning anchorage.