The monument known as Chimney is one of the most famous and unique historical landmark in the Federal Terriotry of Labuan. The red brick tower is better known among the local as “punil”. It was believed to be built in early 1900, when coal mining was at it’s peak in Tanjung Kubong and it’s surrounding area is a main site of Labuan coal mining industry during the British occupation.
Various hypothesis were forwarded on the precise purpose and function of the Chimney. It was long thought to be nothing more than a ventilation shaft for the underground tunnel but recent excavation works showed no tunnel under the Chimney. In addition, inner walls of the Chimney showed no sign of burning. Some said it was alight house beaconing passing ships mainly due to its location near the sea and the existence of a port called Raffles Anchorage in this area. Till this day, the actual purpose of the Chimney is still unknown. It remains as one of the intriguing mystery that fascinates locals and visitors alike. Due to the significance of this tower to Labuan history, the Department of Museums and Anitquities carried out conservation work in 1997 to stabilize and restore it’s original structure.