Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator Tsai Pi-ru (蔡壁如) yesterday denied allegations that she had plagiarized her master’s thesis, adding that she would wait for a university research ethics committee to rule on the matter.
Former Taoyuan City councilor Wang Hao-yu (王浩宇) said on Facebook on Saturday that he had notified Takming University of Science and Technology that Tsai’s master’s thesis might contain plagiarized content.
Tsai obtained her degree from an in-service master’s program at the university’s Management Information System Department.
Photo: Tung Chen-kuo, Taipei Times
Wang posted screenshots of several paragraphs from Tsai’s thesis alongside text from sources — including news reports, Wikipedia posts and a Facebook post by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chien Hsu-pei (簡舒培).
The university on Sunday said in a post on its Web site that it had received Wang’s report, and would conduct a fair and objective review.
Tsai in a radio interview yesterday said the paragraphs Wang shared were from the literature review section of her thesis and that she had cited the sources, so she is confident no plagiarism has occurred.
She has consulted her thesis adviser about the accusation, Tsai said, adding that the adviser said she had cited her sources, so at worst she might only be criticized for imprecise citation.
Asked by the radio host whether she would quit the legislature if the university committee determines that her thesis was plagiarized, Tsai said she would wait for the committee’s decision.
Separately, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Nantou County commissioner candidate Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) and Nantou County Council Speaker Ho Shang-feng (何勝豐) are also facing plagiarism allegations regarding their master’s theses.
Hsu yesterday wrote on Facebook that the DPP is trying to shift the focus after former Hsinchu mayor Lin Chih-chien’s (林智堅) master’s degree was revoked by National Taiwan University due to plagiarism.
She said that Feng Chia University, where she obtained her master’s degree, has launched a review and would complete the investigation in two months, adding that she would accept its decision.
Ho’s master’s degree also came under scrutiny, because the official election candidates’ information bulletin in 2014 showed that he only graduated from elementary school.
However, he received a master’s degree from Asia University’s Department of Bioinformatics and Medical Engineering in 2016. The content of his master’s thesis was similar to that of his secretary’s at the time and they had the same adviser.
Ho on Monday said he attended classes for two-and-a-half years, but it was impossible for him to complete the thesis on his own, so he referenced his classmates’ theses.
He would accept the decision if the university revokes his master’s degree, because he was elected as councilor and speaker for his services and has gained people’s recognition.
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