PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia passport is ranked as the 13th most "powerful" in the world, as holders enjoy visa-free access to 178 countries.
Although Malaysia's ranking on the 2020 Henley Passport Index and Global Mobility Report dropped by one compared with last year, it is still among the top four Asian countries holding "passport power".
Three other Asian countries – namely Japan, Singapore and Korea – were ranked first, second and third respectively on the global index.
Japan has secured the top position for three consecutive years, as its passport holders have access to 191 nations without having to apply prior visa, Singapore with 190 and South Korea on joint third with Germany with 189.
"Japan's passport managed to pull ahead of Singapore as it received visa on arrival access to Saudi Arabia, which Singapore did not," read the statement.
The United States of America and the United Kingdom were both ranked at eighth place.
China and India were ranked at 72nd and 84th position respectively. China passport holders could access to 71 countries without having to apply prior visa, while India only had access to 58 countries.
Afghanistan remained at the bottom of the index, as its nationals could only visit a mere 26 destinations visa-free.
The Henley Passport Index is the original ranking of all the world's passports according to the number of destinations holders could access without a prior visa.
The ranking is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The top-ranked passports are:
3) South Kora and Germany
4) Italy and Finland
5) Spain, Luxembourg, Denmark
6) Sweden, France
7) Switzerland, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland, Austria
8) United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Greece, Belgium
9) New Zealand, Malta, Czech Republic, Canada, Australia
10) Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary
11) Slovenia, Latvia, Iceland
13) Malaysia, Liechtenstein
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