LAST_UPDATESat, 21 Jul 2018 9pm

Malaysian Nationality Ranked Second Highest In Southeast Asia

How much value is there in having a Malaysian citizenship?

According to a new global citizenship reports, Malaysian nationality is of 'High Quality'.

The nationality of Malaysia is ranked under category of 'High Quality' and is ranked 2nd in the region, while the 'Very High Quality' nationality of Singapore saw it ranked 1st in Southeast Asia.

Globally, Malaysia has been ranked 45th in a new quality of nationality report released today by Henley & Partners, the global leader in residence and citizenship planning.

According to the report, strong diversity and weight of travel freedom has enabled Malaysia to increase its standing by 1.7% between a period of 2012 -2016 to achieve a score of 48.5% out of a possible 100%.

Compared with the Asia Pacific average of 32.99% and the global average of 39.32%, this result puts Malaysian nationality firmly in the High-Quality category, the press statement released by Henley & Partners today highlighted.

Pic: FacebookPic: FacebookSpecifically, the statement highlights that Malaysia and Singapore outperform in terms of their external value, having visa-free or visa-on-arrival Travel Freedom to 150 destinations and over.

Furthermore, the report also notes that when it comes to global travel freedom, Malaysia is ranked 22nd and scored 92% out of a possible 100%.

This inaugural “quality of nationality index” (QNI) by Henley & Partners, a consultancy, attempts to do just that by looking at the value of citizenship on two counts: to a person living in the country (the internal value) and the ability to live or work elsewhere (the external value).

Prof. Dr. Dimitry Kochenov, a constitutional law professor specialising in comparative citizenship law, was quoted in the statement explaining that it’s possible to compare the relative worth of nationalities.

"Everyone has a nationality of one or more states. States differ to a great degree — Russia is huge; Malta is small — Luxembourg is rich; Mongolia is less so. Just as with the states, the nationalities themselves differ too. Importantly, there is no direct correlation between the power of the state and the quality of its nationality.

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"Nationality plays a significant part in determining our opportunities and aspirations, and the QNI allows us to analyze this objectively,” he said.

Specifically to Southeast Asia, the report highlighted the top risers of 2015–2016:

- Malaysia gained an increased value of 2.2%, now at 45th place on the rank
- Thailand enjoyed an increase of 1.9% in value, now at 97th place on the Index
- Indonesia is now at the 105th place with an 1.4% value increase
- Timor-Leste is the biggest riser in Asia with a 7.3% value increase. It was ranked in the 95th place in 2016

The QNI uses a wide variety of quantifiable data to determine the opportunities and limitations that our nationalities impose on us, the statement outlines.

It measures both the internal value of nationality — the quality of life and opportunities for personal growth within a nationality’s country of origin — and the external value of nationality — which identifies the diversity and quality of opportunities that nationalities allow us to pursue outside our country of origin.

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“Before the launch of the QNI, no single, credible source existed that ranked the nationalities of the world.

"The second edition of the QNI — which represents the status quo as on 10 October 2016 — reflects the quality of all the world’s nationalities.

"It also includes a number of new nationality and status entries, such as Israeli laissez-passer, South Sudan, and eight British nationalities/statuses. The methodology has also been updated to include territories such as Dutch and French overseas territories, US territories, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands as settlement destinations,” says Kochenov.

As to which country topped the index, German nationality has ranked the highest for the second year in a row. As to which country ended at the bottom of the table, the answer is Afghanistan, sitting at the 159th spot with a score of 14.6 percent. 

The complete index can be viewed here.