Accusations of a plagiarized report sparked a denial and a war of words — along with promises to sue and defiance in the face of such threats — as politicians clashed yesterday.
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hung-wei (王鴻薇) said a thesis that Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅) submitted while studying in a master’s program at Chung Hua University drew most of its content from a paper that was released a month earlier.
Lin, the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) nominee for the Taoyuan mayoral election in November, denied the allegation, adding that he is mulling legal action against Wang, a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
Photo: Cheng Ming-hsiang, Taipei Times
Wang told a news conference that the Hsinchu Science Park Administration had penned an unpublished study titled An Evaluation of the Approval of Hsinchu Science Park Residents with the Taiwan Consumer Satisfaction Index Model in June 2008.
One month later, Lin published his thesis, An Evaluation of the Approval of Residents of a Certain Domestic Science Park with the Taiwan Consumer Satisfaction Index Model, she said.
The methodology, datasets and 88 percent of the written content, including typing errors, were identical across the two documents, Wang said, adding that original content comprised only seven of the 49 pages of Lin’s paper.
The university should rescind Lin’s degree and the Hinschu City Government should investigate whether the mayor contravened intellectual property laws, she said.
“Lin’s act of plagiarism is a breach of the academic code of conduct and also quite likely a breach of the government’s intellectual property rights,” she said. “Lin has lost all political credibility; the man should return his degree and drop out of the [Taoyuan] race.”
Lin told a separate news conference at noon at the Hsinchu City Government that “[the allegation] is old news that media reports covered two weeks ago.”
Allegations of plagiarism are rehashed leading up to nearly every election I contest and they are repeatedly debunked by my campaign and the faculty of my alma maters, he said.
“I have never plagiarized any paper while attending Chung Hua University or National Taiwan University,” he said. “I will defend my good name and I will meet with my attorneys to discuss pressing charges.”
Candidates should appeal to voters by proposing policies instead of smearing their opponents, he said.
Later yesterday, Wang said she welcomed a court battle.
“A lawsuit would be welcomed as an opportunity for a court to verify Lin’s plagiarism,” she said.
Separately, Former legislator Ko Chih-en (柯志恩), the KMT’s candidate for the Kaohsiung mayoral election, was accused of breaching ethics rules while studying education.
Ko submitted nearly identical manuscripts to two conferences in 2004, constituting self-plagiarism and contravening duplicate publication rules in academia, a post on Facebook submitted by an account named Wen Ta-jui (翁達瑞) said.
Ko denied the allegations, saying that she “will not tolerate her character being smeared.”
Ko on Monday filed a libel suit at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office against the administrator of the Wen Ta-jui Facebook account.
Additional reporting by Ke Yu-hao
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