Finally. It’s been in the air for some time now, even before the recent suspension of parliament, and the mood is unmistakable – election commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Salleh has just announced that Malaysia’s 15th general elections (GE15) will happen on Saturday, November 19, a month from now.

That’s slightly less than a month from now, and many will be making plans to travel back to their hometowns to vote. Some will fly and some will take the train (buy your tickets early to avoid disappointment), but most will drive – that’s the Malaysian way. You’re ready, you know who to vote for, but is your car ready for the journey home?

It’s going to be a hectic week on the roads as many will be travelling back to their hometowns, to vote as well as see the family, so expect a longer than usual journey. If your car is due for a service, better to get it done before the journey to ensure that your powertrain and brakes are in good shape. Fix all outstanding issues. A healthy battery is important, too.

Something that busy urbanites tend to forget is tyres. These four small patches offered by tyres are your car’s only contact points to the road, much depends on the state of your tyres. You can have the best safety systems and brakes, but if your tyres are worn out or “botak“, you’re basically just a passenger without full control of your car. It’s raining very heavily and often these days as well, so all the more you need to have good tyres on your car.

A car in good condition reduces the risk of a breakdown, which will add to everyone’s misery (and travel time) on already clogged roads. Help will take longer to arrive too, so everyone’s going to be miserable.

One last thing to do before you set off – ensure that your Touch n Go card has sufficient funds for toll payment. Drive safe.