Hsinchu mayor to sue KMT city councilor over plagiarism claims

07/05/2022 10:53 PM
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Hsinchu City Mayor Lin Chih-chien. CNA photo July 5, 2022
Hsinchu City Mayor Lin Chih-chien. CNA photo July 5, 2022

Taipei, July 5 (CNA) Hsinchu City Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅) said Tuesday he would sue Taipei City Councilor Wang Hung-wei (王鴻薇) of the Kuomintang (KMT) for slander, after the councilor accused the mayor of plagiarism.

At a press conference, Lin said he would file a lawsuit against Wang in the coming days for her "false" claims that were intended "to ruin my reputation and that of the teachers involved."

He was referring to the professors who instructed him when he was studying for a master's degree at Chung Hua University's College of Management.

Lin added that Wang's accusation, made about two weeks after he was nominated by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to run for Taoyuan mayor in the November local government elections, was part of the KMT's efforts to boost the prospects of its own mayoral candidate Simon Chang (張善政).

Earlier on Tuesday, Wang accused Lin of plagiarizing a research report commissioned by the Hsinchu Science Park Bureau and co-authored by Lee Yu-cheng (李友錚) and Wang Ming-lang (王明朗), both of whom were then professors at Chung Hua University's College of Management, for his master's thesis at the college.

Lin's thesis is identical from the introduction to the conclusion, and to the questionnaire included in the appendix, Wang said at a separate press conference, adding that Lin even copied a typo that appeared on the research paper.

According to Wang, Lin made his thesis oral presentation about one month after the research paper was submitted to the park bureau on June 20, 2008.

She called on Lin to "face what he has done" and quit the mayoral election race, while urging Chung Hua University to investigate the matter.

In response, Lin displayed two identical statements that appeared to be signed separately by his advisors Ho Li-hsing (賀立行) and Wang Ming-lang saying that Lin had been part of the team that conducted the research project for the Hsinchu Science Park Bureau.

Lin took part in the formulation, distribution and analysis of the survey used in the research, according to the statements.

The statements added that the professors, including Lee who served on the committee for Lin's thesis oral presentation, considered it "fair and reasonable" that he used relevant data from the research project in his own thesis.

At Tuesday's press conference, Lin also denied a second plagiarism accusation surrounding his master's thesis undertaken at National Taiwan University's (NTU's) Graduate Institute of National Development published in 2017.

Political commentator Huang Yang-ming (黃揚明) said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that he had found "striking similarities" between the first two chapters of Lin's thesis about the 2014 Hsinchu mayoral election and those of a thesis written by another student at the same graduate institute, Yu Cheng-huang (余正煌), published in 2016.

Lin denied having plagiarized Yu's work, saying it was Yu who "borrowed" his research materials.

"Mr. Yu used my data and referenced my draft thesis, although I graduated later than him," Lin said, noting that he completed his thesis oral presentation one year later than Yu because he had been busy with mayoral duties after winning the election in 2014.

Lin's advisor at the NTU graduate school, Chen Ming-tong (陳明通), who currently serves as head of the National Security Bureau, has vouched for him, saying in a statement the same day that he had negotiated with Lin to provide research materials to Yu.

Meanwhile, both NTU and Chung Hua University said on Tuesday that they would launch an investigation as soon as they receive a plagiarism complaint, but indicated they had not yet received any such complaint against Lin.

(By Matt Yu, Hsu Chih-wei and Teng Pei-ju)

Enditem/AW

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Update

Aug. 12: DPP's Taoyuan mayoral candidate pulls out over thesis plagiarism

Aug. 9: NTU committee determines ex-Hsinchu mayor plagiarized thesis

Aug. 9: DPP defends Taoyuan mayoral candidate accused of plagiarism

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