PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian passport has been ranked the 13th most powerful travel document in the world in the Henley Passport Index.
Neighbouring Singapore and Japan held on to the top spot in the rankings with a score of 189.
The Henley Passport Index, produced by Henley and Partners, ranks the world’s passports based on a country’s citizen’s ability to access international destinations without a prior visa.
Input for the rankings is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
In a statement, Henley and Partners noted that the Malaysian passport, with a score of 176, was among the top three most powerful passports in Southeast Asia along with Singapore and Brunei.
In 2018, the Malaysian passport was ranked 12th in the index.
Finland, Germany, and South Korea hold 2nd place; Denmark, Italy and Luxembourg are 3rd place; while France has dropped to 4th, sharing the position with Spain and Sweden.
With a visa-free or visa-on-arrival score of 183, the UK and the US now share 6th place, the lowest position either country has held since 2010, and a significant drop from their 1st place spot in 2014.
Henley also noted that in the latest rankings, the United Arab Emirates has made it into the top 20 for the first time in the index’s 14-year history.
“Over the past five years, the UAE has more than doubled the number of destinations its citizens are able to travel to without a prior visa,” it said.
At the bottom of the rankings is the Afghanistan passport which allows its citizens to only access 25 destinations worldwide.