The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday questioned the authenticity of theses from prominent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members, calling on the party to hold its members to the same academic standard it used to judge Kaohsiung City Councilor Jane Lee (李眉蓁).
Lee, the KMT’s candidate for the Aug. 15 Kaohsiung mayoral by-election, on Friday said she would give up her master’s degree from National Sun Yat-sen University following allegations that she had plagiarized her thesis.
Former vice premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), the DPP’s candidate for the by-election, is listed as the first author of an article on using big data to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing, which was published in May in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Alicia Wang (王育敏) told a news conference in Taipei.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
However, Chen on Friday said he was in charge of “coordinating” between the authors of the article, which raises questions about whether he should be listed as the first author, Wang said.
She also said that three of the four members of incoming Control Yuan president Chen Chu’s (陳菊) oral defense committee for her thesis at National Sun Yat-sen University had close ties with the DPP, and one of them, Wu Jih-hwa (吳濟華), became head of the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit Bureau while Chen was Kaohsiung mayor, casting doubt on the committee’s objectivity, Wang said.
While professors, Wu and Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) served as thesis advisers for many prominent DPP members, Wang said.
Wu advised more than 300 doctoral and master’s students, including Chen Chu and Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), averaging more than 10 students per year, while Chen Ming-tong was the thesis adviser for Pingtung County Commissioner Pan Men-an (潘孟安), Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅), and DPP Legislators Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜), Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) and Shen Fa-hui (沈發惠), she said.
Wang repeated an allegation first made by former KMT legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) that a substantial portion of Su’s master’s thesis at National Sun Yat-sen University copied an article published in 1999, titled “Sustainable use of Taiwan’s water resources,” authored by professors Chen Yung-sen (陳永森) and Chen Chang-po (陳章波).
Chiu lost a defamation suit filed by Su over the matter, but Wang said she believed that the public should form their own conclusion.
Excluding the preface, annotations and bibliography, duplications of the article could be found on 12 pages of Su’s thesis, the body of which consists of 69 pages, KMT Legislator Lee Te-wei (李德維) said at the same news conference.
Chen Yung-sen in 2010 said that he and Su had discussed the contents of his article, he had made his research available to Su before its publication and he did not believe that Su had plagiarized his work.
Chen Kuan-an (陳冠安), an assistant researcher at the KMT’s National Policy Research Foundation, said that he ran Pan’s master’s thesis through plagiarism analysis site turnitin.com and found that Pan had plagiarized 46 percent of his thesis from various articles and online materials.
Wang said that these DPP officials should explain why they appear to have plagiarized other people’s work.
DPP spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said the KMT has become so desperate that it is now attempting to vilify the DPP.
The KMT has blamed the controversy over Jane Lee’s thesis on National Sun Yat-sen University, and wasted no time in accusing others of plagiarism, which was disrespectful to the thesis evaluation bodies of the schools involved, she said.
Additional reporting by Huang Hsin-po
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