Federal Territory of Labuan, Malaysia
Labuan Travel Blog› entry 6 of 6 › view all entries
August 20th, 2008 – by: almond72
Calling Stamp Afficianados of British Commonwealth Malaya !
For those who remember the Straits Settlements of Malaya during British colonial rule, you would recall Labuan territory. This is an island off the west coast of Sabah that was the first official northern territory ceded by the Sultan of Brunei to the British government in 1849 and curiously named Victoria (after the Queen ?). Initially operated as a coal mining operation which turned out too costly to maintain, it was joined with Penang, Melaka & Singapore and administered as the Straits Settlements in 1902.
The British dropped the ball in 1942 when the Japanese Army occupied the island. For a short while it was renamed Maeda Island during the Japanese rule. After WW II, the British resumed control up to 1963 when Labuan joined Malaysia and became a part of Sabah. In 1984 it was then made part of the Federal Territory of Malaysia .
The Smell of Money
Finally, Labuan was declared an International Offshore Financial Centre in 1990. Today, it is a tax haven for offshore banking and the government is promoting it as a financial centre. I doubt it will become the Caymans of the East soon, but for those who have some cash to spare and happen to be in the area doing diving, do give it a look. They'll fall all over themselves to help you the moment you open your mouth to say you want to set up an account in Labuan.
TB's should note that the following reasons to open an account / company in Labuan do not garner goodwill or cooperation :
Financing the Abu-Sayaf group in southern Philippines
Financing the pro-Indonesian separatist movements on Borneo island
Financing terrorist training camps in Borneo for anybody
However, if you should indicate that you wish to mow down large tracts of the rainforest, build entire new industrial zones or even start a nuclear reactor there, you will be smothered with loan offers to your eyeballs or even buried alive with them.
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