MDEC Broadens Horizon: De Rantau Digital Nomad Hub Reaches Out to Sarawak


Key Takeaways

  • MDEC plans to extend its De Rantau digital nomad hub to Sarawak and Sabah.
  • Discussions with local authorities and ministries in Sarawak are in progress.
  • Malaysia’s digital nomad visa, the DE Rantau Nomad Pass, facilitates digital nomads locally and internationally.

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is in the initial phases of expanding its digital nomad hub, De Rantau, to the regions of Sarawak and Sabah.

According to The Borneo Post report, MDEC CEO Mahadhir Aziz mentioned that discussions with local authorities and relevant ministries in Sarawak are ongoing to plan the way forward.

Mahadhir shared insights on the existing digital nomad program De Rantau in Peninsular Malaysia, affirming the plans to extend it to Sarawak and Sabah.

The report noted that the initiative has the backing of the Sarawak Premier, supporting the dialogues with local authorities and ministries in Sarawak.

The announcement came during an MDEC exhibition at the 27th World Congress on Information Technology and the 6th International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (WCIT|IDECS) 2023 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.

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Various areas of collaboration between the federal government through MDEC and Sarawak, encompassing digitalization, circular economy, and sustainability, were highlighted by Mahadhir.

MDEC’s aspiration to feature WCIT|IDECS 2023 as part of the Malaysia Digital Expo, representing a six-week dive into Malaysia’s digital economic ecosystem, was also expressed.

Continued collaboration with Sarawak through the Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC) on digitalization programs, e-commerce, talent development, and digital villages was emphasized by Mahadhir.

DE Rantau Nomad Pass: Gateway for Digital Nomads

Malaysia’s digital nomad visa, the DE Rantau Nomad Pass, aims to boost digital adoption and promote digital mobility and tourism.

According to a Lifestyle Asia report, cities like Penang and Kuala Lumpur have already been recognized as freelancer-friendly locations, and this program intends to elevate Malaysia as a top destination in Southeast Asia for digital nomads.

The DE Rantau Hubs cater to digital nomads, offering certified accommodations, working hubs, curated local services, discount vouchers, and the latest information and promotions.

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The program allows digital freelancers, remote workers, and independent contractors from various digital domains to apply, given they meet the income criteria of at least USD 24,000 annually.

The Professional Visit Pass under this program permits a stay in Malaysia for three to twelve months, renewable for another year, with provisions for bringing along dependents.

What Do We Think?

The extension of the De Rantau digital nomad hub to Sarawak and Sabah signifies a positive stride towards fostering a digital culture and embracing the modern nomadic work lifestyle across more regions in Malaysia.

This move not only attracts global digital talents but also supports local digital freelancers and remote workers, enriching the digital ecosystem within the country.

As the digital nomad trend continues to grow, such initiatives position Malaysia as a favorable destination, encouraging digital innovation and creating a conducive environment for digital nomads to thrive.


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