Malaysia’s passport ranks sixth globally, sharing the same position as passports from Ireland, Canada and the United States, according to Passport Index 2017.
The Global Passport Power Rank 2017 by Arton Capital, a leading global advisory for residence and citizenship solutions, assesses national passports by the cross-border access they bring, assigns a “visa-free score” according to the number of countries a passport holder can visit visa-free or with visa on arrival.
Malaysia and the three other countries in the same ranking, scores 154 in the visa-free score.
This year, Malaysia is ranked above countries such as Australia and New Zealand, but below countries Japan, South Korea and Singapore, which ranks first in the index.
The top 10 most powerful passports have always been dominated by European counties, with Germany topping the index in the past two years.
However, Singapore has been sharing the number one position since early 2017, when it shot to the top of the index after Paraguay removed visa requirements for Singaporeans, with a visa-free score of 159.
“For the first time ever, an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world,” said Managing Director of Arton Capital’s Singapore office, Philippe May, on its website.
“It is a testament of Singapore’s inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy,” he added.
On the other hand, the US passport has dropped in ranking since US President Donald Trump took office, said the website.
Most recently, Turkey and the Central African Republic revoked their visa-free status to US passport holders.