Housed in a pre-war colonial building, Labuan Museum provides a detailed insight into the culture and history of the island.
Muzium Labuan’s ground floor features exhibits that take visitors on an interesting journey from the prehistoric era, to the Brunei Sultanate, British colonial days, declaration of Independence and establishment of Labuan as a federal territory.
The top floor showcases the cultures and traditions of the island’s main communities, namely the Brunei-Malays, Kadazan-Dusuns, Indians, Sikhs, Kadayans and Chinese.
The Labuan Museum contains over 700 collections. Amongst the most valuable historical artefacts housed here are:
- stone querns from the Neolithic period found in Pulau Burong;
- wartime weaponry including anti-submarine weapons such as depth charges used by Allied Forces to combat the Japanese navy during World War II;
- the original pen, chair and table used by the Prime Minister of Malaysia and Sabah’s Chief Minister during the declaration of Labuan as a Federal Territory in 1984; and
- a collection of currency and stamps of Labuan used during the colonial era, mostly more than a century old.
Ethnological artefacts on display include music instruments, hunting tools, costumes and ritual items used by Labuan’s multi-racial community. There is also a section on wedding ceremony customs and a collection of brassware used by Labuan’s Brunei Malay and Kedayan communities for daily and traditional purposes, such as bowls, trays, vases, vessels and swivel guns (meriam kecil).
Just across from Labuan Museum is History Square, where four Flame of the Forest (Butea monosperma) trees stand on each of the square’s corners. The trees were planted by the Malay, Chinese, Indian and European communities in 1953 to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
There are also several plaques in History Square commemorating important events throughout Labuan’s history, such as the:
• 1846 handover of the island from the Brunei Sultanate to the British;
• change of name for Labuan to Maida Island during the Japanese rule in 1942;
• memorial for General Toshinari Maeda, after whom the island’s name change was initiated, who perished in an air crash on the way to Labuan in 1943; and
• landing of the Australian 9th Division in Labuan in June 1945, marking the beginning of the liberation of Borneo.
The Labuan Museum is located on Jalan Dewan, in front of Labuan Square.
It is open daily from 9.00am till 5.00pm except on Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Entry is free.
Telephone: +6087 414 135