The Malaysian passport has been ranked 12th among the strongest passports globally, according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index.

Allowing holders to travel to 166 countries without a visa, Malaysia's passport secured second place for the strongest passport within Southeast Asia, after Singapore.

In addition to taking the top spot for strongest passport in the Southeast Asian region, Singapore ranked second globally, with visa-free access to 176 countries.

The third strongest passport in the region was revealed to be Brunei’s, which placed 22nd globally.

Dominic Volek, managing partner, Henley & Partners Singapore, head of Southeast Asia, notes that the top three countries are exceptions in the region in terms of passport strength, as the remaining countries in Southeast Asia have ranged from 56th (Timor-Leste) to 92nd (Myanmar) place on the index.

‘Over a 10-year period, the majority of Southeast Asian countries have dropped on the index, with the Philippines (the biggest faller) losing 10 places since 2008,” he added.

In the global rankings, the country maintaining the title of strongest passport in the world for the fifth year running is Germany, allowing passport holders visa-free access to 177 countries.

Five countries tied for third place on the global rankings: Denmark, Finland, France, Italy and Japan, with their passport holders having the ability to travel to 175 countries visa-free.

“Across the economic spectrum, individuals want to transcend the constraints imposed on them by their country of origin and access business, financial, career, and lifestyle opportunities on a global scale,” commented Dr. Christian H. Kälin, group chairman of Henley & Partners in a press release.

The Henley Passport Index is a global ranking based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), supplemented by in-house research.

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