There was a "googoo gaagaa" moment in Parliament yesterday. No, that was not a description of the usual childish behaviour in the House, but that of a four-month-old baby who followed her mother to work.

NONESerdang MP Teo Nie Ching said she brought her daughter Jinger Gan to Parliament to prove a point - that both the public and private sector have neglected working mothers by not providing daycare centres.

Teo said that she was inspired to do so after learning of Italian member of the European Parliament Licia Ronzulli, who brought her 44-day-old daughter to work two years ago.

Ronzulli made the symbolic move to highlight women's right in reconciling work with family life.

In the case of Malaysia, Teo said that government agencies and the private sector have provided 71 and 20 crèches respectively - far below what is needed by Malaysia's female labour force.

"Even Parliament, the symbol of democracy and rights in our country, does not provide such facilities," she lamented at a press conference at the Parliament lobby, with her baby in arm.

Women participation lacking

"It is therefore not surprising that many women leave their jobs in the midway through their career because Malaysia's workplaces are still not mother-friendly," she added.

NONETeo said women participation in Malaysia's labour force, which stood at 47.9 percent in 2011, is relatively low when compared regionally.

She said that Thailand, Singapore and Brunei's figures were 71 percent, 63 percent and 60 percent respectively.

Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, who accompanied Teo at the press conference, suggested that Parliament should lead the way and establish a daycare centre.

She said that such a facility would help MPs, senators, Parliament's staff and media personnel.