The Malaysian government’s Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) announced this week that it has partnered with the Singapore blockchain-based non-profit organization NEM Foundation and the Estonian cross-border job marketplace Jobbatical to set up a work visa program for distributed ledger technology (DLT) talents to work in Malaysia for 12-months as digital freelancers.
According to the government announcement about this new visa program, Malaysia has seen a growing demand for blockchain technology talents, which has prompted the MDEC to create and launch this new program.
The NEM Foundation is a Singapore-based non-profit organization that is in charge of the NEM (XEM) blockchain project, and Jobbatical is an Estonian startup that connects technology professionals around the world with companies in need of their services. The roles of the collaborators will be for the NEM Foundation to specify the type of DLT that are talents needed, and Jobbatical to advertise the talent needs and scout for free-lance talents through its platform.
Norhizam Abdul Kadir, the Vice-President of the MDEC growth ecosystem commented on the new program and said that proposals have already been sent to the country’s Home Ministry and the Immigration Department to support the Digital Freelancer Program and to approve the selected talents.
Kadir said that the new program will exist as a category with the governments existing Professional Visit Pass (PVP). The PVP allows foreign workers with relevant professional qualifications and/or skills to migrate to Malaysia to work as expatriates for up to 12 months.
The MDEC announcement on the program said that it will focus on identifying blockchain technology experts, even though the country is interest in attracting a wide variety of technology talents who have knowledge skills in other technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Kadir of the MDEC said that currently the government has no specific goals or limitations on the number of technology experts who can be approved for the new visa program and that, “The number of Visas to be issued depends on the projects that will be run by DLT companies in Malaysia.“