IPOH: NEWLY-ELECTED Kampar MP and heart surgeon Dr Ko Chung Sen used to make a lot of money clearing up blocked arteries.
These days, he is digging into his own pocket to clear clogged drains as one of the services for his constituency.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Dr Ko, who works at a specialist hospital here, is seeing at least 20 per cent less patients now, as he just doesn't have the time.
Some of his patients had to be referred to others, while many have to reschedule their appointments.
This has reduced the income for the father of five.
"My wife is working part time as a doctor.
"I know there would be a financial challenge when I jumped at the chance to make a change in people's lives through politics -- even though it meant a long road ahead.
"It's particularly tough when you are an opposition MP, but it helps when you don't go into politics with the intention of making big bucks at the people's expense," he said.
The 44-year-old political newbie shot to prominence after the polls when he knocked out Barisan Nasional's Datuk Lee Chee Leong from MCA.
Dr Ko had considered going full time as a politician but it is impossible to do so with his present commitments. "Perhaps it would have been possible if I was still single or very wealthy," he said.
Dr Ko was quick to add that he had no regrets and that he loves and cherishes his family no less than serving the people.