SINGAPORE: The Malaysian passport has been ranked second in Southeast Asia after Singapore in terms of travel freedom, according to Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index 2017.
Malaysian passport holders can currently travel to 164 countries without a visa.
Overall, Malaysia ranks 13th globally, Singapore fourth and Brunei 23rd.
Singaporeans can travel to 173 countries freely. Brunei Darussalam, in third spot, has visa-free access to 151 countries.
For other Southeast Asian countries, Timor Leste has visa-free access to 83 countries, Thailand 71, the Philippines 61, Indonesia 57, Cambodia 48, Laos 48, Vietnam 45 and Myanmar 41.
Since 2006, the index has been produced in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world's largest database of travel information.
In compiling the index, the unique global ranking methodology by Henley & Partners is applied to data provided by IATA's proprietary passport and visa database.
According to Henley & Partners, as the world becomes ever more globalised, individuals are increasingly living and conducting business on an international scale, with a second or third residence or citizenship becoming an increasingly attractive option.
For individuals from countries with few visa waiver agreements, a second passport can open up travel to countries previously restricted by time-consuming visa application requirements and processes.
"This second passport gives a business person access to the global market, which in turn creates opportunities for growth," Henley & Partners said on its website.
Germany ranked first with those holding its passport being able to access 177 countries without a visa, while Afghanistan ranked lowest at 104, with visa-free access to only 24. -- BERNAMA