KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 – The Malaysian passport is ninth best in the world for travellers, a survey said, crediting this to the number of visa-free countries its holders can visit out of 218 destinations.
It dropped one spot from eighth place last year to share the same ranking as Hungary but still remains the second best in the region after Singapore, which is ranked fifth with 169 destinations.
According to the Henley & Partners 2015 Visa Restrictions Index, holders of Malaysian passports can travel to 163 countries without visas; compared to top ranked Germany and the United Kingdom whose passport holders can access 173 destinations visa-free.
The annual index, produced in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association, ranks countries according to the number of other countries that their citizens can travel to, without having to obtain a visa.
Finland, Sweden and the United States, which last year shared the top rank, are now in second place, with 172 destinations accessible without a visa.
Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Norway are jointly in the third spot with 171 visa-free destinations.
In this year’s index, Hong Kong ranked 16th with visa-free access to 152 countries, Thailand ranked 72nd with visa-free access to 69 countries, Philippines ranked 79th with visa-free access to 60 countries while Indonesia took 83rd place with visa-free access to 55 countries.
There are 219 destination countries (territories) in total, with the maximum attainable score of 218 (points are not assigned for a national traveling to their own country).
The amount of nationalities (passports) evaluated were 199 - the 193 Member States of the United Nations, Chinese Taipei (Republic of China Taiwan), Kosovo, Palestinian Territory, Vatican City, Hong Kong (SAR China), Macao (SAR China).