The 23rd Labuan International Sea Challenge (LISC) 2019 created history with two of its international main events entering the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR). With a secured record of 185 swimmers, the Labuan Cross Channel Swimming Challenge obtained the title “Largest Participation in Island to Island Swimming Event”; beating its own record of 103 swimmers in 2009 while the Labuan Round Island Kayak Challenge achieved a new record of being Malaysia’s longest kayak competition route at 51.7km. Another international event, LISC DAIWA Fishing Challenge around Layang-Layang Island and the Spratly Islands also witnessed overwhelming support from foreign sponsors and anglers.
Held from April 26th to 28th, LISC featured 3 main events and at least 20 supporting ones, several of them new. The objective of this event was to promote Malaysia and Labuan to the eyes of the world through an exciting line up of sea-based water sports activities. It is also to promote bonding sportsmanship amongst both local and international participants, in line with boosting Labuan’s local economy through tourism. An estimate of 1,300 participants from 16 different countries participated in all the events held throughout the 3 days. The Federal Territories Minister, YB Tuan Khalid Abdul Samad, who officiated LISC 2019 closing ceremony mentioned that LISC 2019 has achieved beyond its expectation in attracting more local and international participants. The event received astounding participation of an estimated 15,000 water sports enthusiasts, participants and visitors all throughout the 3-day event. He also emphasized the need to continue developing tourism products to accelerate Labuan’s growing tourism industry. These efforts entail improving the infrastructure of the 22-year-old Labuan Bird Park. What makes this bird park so special is that, this park carries out conservation activities for endangered bird species, bird rehabilitation including the monitoring of migratory birds. Khalid has approved an allocation of RM1 million for a tremendous transformation of the Labuan Bird Park this year in order to boost Labuan’s economy.
Khalid added, besides making LISC a prestigious water sports event, social responsibilities for charitable purposes will not be forgotten. The fishes caught by the participants of the LISC DAIWA Fishing Challenge will be auctioned off and the proceeds will be donated to the Autism Education Centre of Labuan as a CSR program by the participants and organizers of this event. Labuan Island enjoys Federal Territory status and is a duty-free port meaning cheap items for tourists and residents. Aside from the secluded beaches, nightlife, and extremely rich history, there are many exciting things to see and do around The Pearl of Borneo!
WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL
Erected to commemorate the fallen that freed Borneo, The World War II memorial on Labuan Island is the largest in Malaysia. They were soldiers from Australia, England, India and New Zealand. Each year, Remembrance Day or “Poppy Day” is observed on a Sunday closest to November 11, a formal, military remembrance ceremony is held on the site.
LABUAN MARINE MUSEUM
Located east of the city centre, the Labuan Marine Museum is housed in the International Sports Complex. The museum contains an interesting array of artefacts from shipwrecks and live and well as preserved sea life
This beautifully landscaped beachside park at Layang-Layangan was constructed in cooperation with Japanese to renounce the horrors of war. A large monument in both English and Japanese carries the simple message “peace is best”. The park lives up to its name as an amazing place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Surrender Point marks the 9th Division, Australian Forces received the formal surrender of the 37th Japanese Army in North Borneo on September 10, 1945. Surrender Point is located on the west coast, only 7 miles from the city centre, admission free.
The 106-foot-tall tower was erected in the late 1800 of red bricks imported from England. The chimney is believed to be a ventilation shaft for the nearby coal mining activities which took place at that time. There is a small museum on the site to provide visitors some background information.
Those are sights to see, but what about places to eat? Say no more! Labuan plays host to a plethora of seafood restaurants. Don’t miss an opportunity to visit Mr. Crab Seafood & Steamboat Restaurant and try their famous Pumpkin Fish Maw Crabmeat Soup, Lobster with Two Flavour Tiger Prawn, and Hot and Spicy Mud Crab. Surrounded by mangroves, the restaurant is built on stilts at the confluence of two rivers. If you prefer dining with a beach view, the Mawilla Yatch Club Seafood Restaurant offers a delectable selection accompanied by a spectacular sunset view. The relaxing atmosphere is a perfect setting for romantic couples, groups of friends and families. The restaurant’s must-try dishes are Butter Milk Prawn, Nestum Prawn, Salted Egg Crab and Chilli Mussels.
If you have an eye for aesthetic value and great ambience, hang out with friends at the Instagram-able Mortar Café. With the tagline “Eat, Chill, Drink”, the restaurant offers a unique all-day dining experience. Their recommended dishes are the Prawn Somtam, Charcoal Burger, and Mortar Laksa, including fantastic desserts like Coconut Yoghurt Gelato and Durian Cheese cake. If you have a hankering for Satay, you should definitely visit Mayang Sari Sunset located at Batu Manikar Beach. Enjoy eating chicken or beef satay while soaking in Labuan’s serene sunset, and wash it down with refreshing coconut water.