Mdec expands De Rantau Programme: New opportunities for global digital nomads

  • The De Rantau Nomad Pass now includes professionals beyond IT and digital fields
  • Minimum income requirements is set at US$60,000 per year or US$5,000 per month

(From left): Deputy secretary general of the Ministry of Digital, Ma Sivanesan; minister of Digital, Gobind Singh Deo; chairman of MDEC, Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh; and CEO of MDEC, Mahadhir Aziz; with the digital nomads under the DE Rantau programme.

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has announced major updates to the DE Rantau programme, an initiative designed to make Malaysia a top destination for digital nomads. 

In a statement, the agency said the DE Rantau Nomad Pass is now expanded to include professionals beyond IT and digital fields. This includes founders, CEOs, COOs, tax accountants, legal counsels, technical writers, business development managers, public relations professionals, and other related positions. Whether digital freelancers or remote workers, these professionals are now eligible to apply.

It added that the minimum income requirement for these non-IT/digital talents is set at US$60,000 (RM281,000) per year or US$5,000 (RM23,000) per month. Additionally, parents of the main applicant can now be dependents.

According to MDEC, as of 31 May 2024, the programme has received 3,096 applications, with 1,443 approved, including 189 renewals. These applicants come from 78 countries, with the top five being Russia, Pakistan, Britain, Japan, and Australia. The average annual income of these approved digital nomads is US$69,000 (RM324,000) with the majority possessing skills in software development, digital marketing, and AI/machine learning.

A 2023 year-end survey revealed that 40% of approved applicants are in Malaysia with their families, impacting their spending on tourism, education, food, accommodation, and transportation.

The programme continues to grow its network of partners, which now includes a diverse range of local and international collaborators such as co-working space providers, insurance platforms, healthcare providers, accommodation platforms, travel and leisure providers, cashless solution providers, and transportation services. Partners include Worq, Common Ground, Komune Co-working, Universal Space Offices, Jetpack Langkawi, SafetyWing, KPJ Healthcare, MHTC, OYO, Tripcarte, AxaiPay, EdxaPay, SenangPay, EasyBook, Good Foodie Media, and Hertz.

Looking ahead, DE Rantau is set to host several community initiatives aimed at engaging and enriching the digital nomad community in Malaysia. This includes the Scale Summit @ Langkawi later this month, a digital nomad community engagement event by JetPack Langkawi. Additionally, DE Rantau @ Terengganu will be held in Q3 2024, and DE Rantau Fest 2024 is scheduled for Q4 2024, promising an exciting lineup of activities and engagements.

MDEC said it is committed to empowering these initiatives, fostering a thriving digital nomad ecosystem in Malaysia, supporting the growth of local industries, and promoting Malaysia as a soft landing and prime destination for global digital talents. For more information and to apply for the DE Rantau Nomad Pass, visit


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