IT’S Thursday, and depending in which state you work, your Hari Raya break may well begin tomorrow or the day after.
These are the days where we may physically be in the office but our hearts and minds are already on the journey home to our loved ones.
This is why the “balik kampung” journey is one of the most special, and most anticipated drives of the year.
It is a journey that symbolises our roots and for those who are fortunate to celebrate their Hari Raya in the place where they grew up, it is a perfect opportunity to rekindle past memories and spend time with old friends, too.
However, for some of us, it could also be a dreaded journey due to the heavy traffic.
I have endured 18-hour drives from Kuala Lumpur to Perlis, my wife’s hometown.
However, one bright spot is that the 18 hours stuck in one space with the whole family offer a rare opportunity to catch up on things.
Then again, that long drives could make the Hari Raya journey home more special – wading through traffic, the long wait and the continuous barrage of questions from the children asking how much longer before we arrive – all part and parcel of the anticipation, building up excitement when we see the faces of the ones we will see.
With only a few days left before the ‘balik kampung’ journey, as always, it must come with ample preparations.
Spend the next few days ensuring that your vehicle is inspected and serviced for the journey home.
In the first week of Ramadhan, MARii soft-launched the #PemanduCekap campaign that aimed to redefine the concept of the skilled driver.
A skilled driver is not all about skills in car handling and driver reflex, but also knowledge of the intricate details that make the drive safe and energy efficient.
In conjunction with the holiday season, we have packed our social and media portals with information and tips to ensure your journey home to your loved ones is a joyous and fruitful one.
We must remember that while we celebrate the triumphs of overcoming another Ramadhan, there are those who go through hunger and thirst on a daily basis.
Let us take the time to thank the Creator for a comfortable journey, as many do not have such luxuries.
On behalf of MARii, I’d like to wish everyone Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, maaf zahir dan batin.
I pray your experiences and joy spent with your loved ones would drive us towards better appreciation of our roots, sense of belonging and help motivate us to emerge stronger and better once we return to our duties.
The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii).