Malaysia and Indonesia have rejected any change in the policy of 'constructive engagement' which ASEAN has adopted towards Burma. Philippine President Fidel Ramos said last week that the policy might be reviewed in the wake of the arrests of hundreds of Burma's democracy activists. But in a two-hour meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday between visiting President Suharto of Indonesia and the Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the two leaders agreed it should be continued. Malaysia's Foreign Minister, Abdullah Badawi, said this was 'because they felt that isolating Myanmar [Burma] would be of no use'. Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have opposed Western proposals that it responds to human rights violations in Burma with sanctions. Dr Mahathir said at the weekend that constructive engagement was a good policy. 'I see evidence that it has caused a change in Myanmar,' he said. Asked whether recent developments in Burma might affect the Burmese Government's application for membership in ASEAN, Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas compared membership of the body with membership of the United Nations. 'Why should ASEAN adopt a rule which other international organisations do not practise?' he asked. 'ASEAN should not be looking at the internal situation of a particular country.' On the question of Burmese entry into ASEAN, he said Indonesia and Malaysia were 'of the same stand'. But Mr Badawi said no date had been fixed for Burmese membership. Dr Mahathir and Mr Suharto also agreed to submit their dispute over the ownership of two islands, Sipadan and Ligitan, to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, for arbitration. Mr Badawi said the two leaders 'voiced their aspiration that the issue could be settled amicably without creating any difficulties or tension'. Dr Mahathir has proposed building the world's longest bridge - across the Straits of Malacca separating the Malaysian mainland from Indonesia's Sumatra Island.