As one of the Malaysia Digital Catalytic Programmes (PEMANGKIN), the DE Rantau programme has added a new location in the form of Langkawi, Kedah, continuing the goal of establishing Malaysia as the preferred digital nomad hub to promote digital professional mobility and tourism across the nation.
First launched in Penang this September, the initiative offers digital nomads more destination options to travel while working in Malaysia while contributing to the income of local communities and accelerate the growth of the nation’s digital economy.
Speaking on this, the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, YB Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima TPr Annuar Haji Musa, commented: "The Malaysian Government is excited to promote Langkawi as a destination hub for foreign digital nomads to travel while working on the island via DE Rantau. We are confident that the presence of digital nomads on this island known for its duty-free status will support the economic recovery of local businesses.”
The programme is expected to inject a total of RM4.8 billion into the local economy by the year 2025. The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia (K-KOMM) through Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) will create a vibrant ecosystem that can support the digital nomad lifestyle to be able to regain the balance in working and living.
Since accepting applications for DE Rantau Nomad Passes this October, the organization has received over 2,000 applications from digital nomads. The Professional Visit Pass is intended to facilitate digital nomads who are eligible to reside and work in Malaysia for a period of 12 months with their spouses and children.
According to Ts. Mahadhir Aziz, Chief Executive Officer of MDEC, the overwhelming response shows clear indication of Malaysia as a preferred hub for digital nomads. It has also received growing support from local companies and industry players wanting to join and participate in the programme, playing their part in the digital nomad ecosystem.
MDEC has approved 113 applications from entrepreneurs and local business owners who registered their accommodations to become a certified DE Rantau Hub.
Additionally, the launch of the DE Rantau Platform, an app designed K-KOMM through MDEC, is set to support the creation of a vibrant ecosystem and facilitate the stay of digital nomads in Malaysia. The app will offer users access to its fully fledged ecosystem which includes accommodation hubs, local services ranging from travel, tourism, transport, e-commerce, e-payments, and others.
Under the Malaysia Digital (MD) initiative, DE Rantau is one of the first two PEMANGKIN planned for 2022. It is designed to create substantial economic spill-over through equitable access to digital tools, knowledge, and income opportunities.