The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian passport ranks 64th on a list of the world's most powerful passports, with its nationals only able to visit 63 countries without the hassle of a visa. (Shutterstock/File)
Indonesia has recently been ranked 64th on a list of the world's most powerful passports, while neighboring Singapore tops the list.
The list shows that Singaporeans can visit 159 countries without the hassle of applying for a visa, whereas Indonesian citizens can only visit 63. The world's largest archipelago shares its spot with Zambia, Tunisia and Cape Verde.
Speaking to kompas.com on Thursday, international law expert Hikmahanto Juwana of the University of Indonesia listed several possible reasons on why the country may be the low on the list.
"It depends on the receiving country. For example, many countries are worried about terrorism. They know that aside from being victims of terror, there are also [Indonesian] perpetrators," Hikmahanto said.
A second reason, he added, could be that many countries may not see Indonesian tourists as potential big spenders, unlike Singaporeans, who receive generally high salaries to support large spending during their travels.
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Hikmahanto went on to say that a third reason could be weak law enforcement that may lead to the misuse of documents, such as passports, and which could also be another obstacle for Indonesia to become visa-free.
"Compared to Singapore, which is very careful in issuing its passports," Hikamahanto said.
He added that document abuse could also affect other countries through human trafficking, including smuggling illegal workers to another country.
Indonesia also ranks behind bordering Timor Leste, which sits in 50th with access to 84 countries. Papua New Guinea, another neighboring country that shares a border with Indonesia, is in 58th with 69 countries.
Nearby Malaysia, meanwhile, occupies the sixth slot with 154 visa-free countries open to its passport holders (liz/kes)