ELECTIONS 2022/KMT Taoyuan mayoral candidate denies plagiarism accusations

09/05/2022 07:47 PM
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Kuomintang Taoyuan mayoral candidate Simon Chang (center) campaigns in the northern Taiwanese city on Monday. CNA photo Sept. 5, 2022
Kuomintang Taoyuan mayoral candidate Simon Chang (center) campaigns in the northern Taiwanese city on Monday. CNA photo Sept. 5, 2022

Taipei, Sept. 5 (CNA) Kuomintang Taoyuan mayoral candidate Simon Chang (張善政) on Monday denied fresh allegations of plagiarism that he improperly used a National Communications Commission (NCC) report as part of a research project he headed while working at Acer Inc.

Chang has faced allegations that some of the material in the NT$57.36 million (US$1.87 million) Council of Agriculture (COA) research project he headed from 2007 to 2009 was plagiarized from other sources, charges that he has denied.

The latest was from the Liberty Times, which wrote that it received a tip-off that within the 2009 part of the project that cost NT$17 million, a 60-page "sub-report" contained material it claimed was copied from an outside source.

The "sub-report" looked at how videoconferencing technology could be applied to the transmission of agricultural information, and at least 10 pages of it was from a report written by the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) at the NCC's behest in 2006, the Liberty Times said.

The name of the NCC report was cited in the "sub-report," the Liberty Times acknowledged, but it said neither the NCC or the ITRI was cited.

Chang said the goal of the COA project was to introduce new knowledge from around the world on the digitization of the agricultural sector and that the report from the NCC was related to the topic.

He said the use of the NCC report was proper and that its citation was completely legal according to Articles 50 and 52 of the Copyright Law.

Asked whether the source of the information should have been fully listed, Chang said he did not try to conceal the sources of information, and his team listed the name of the report in detail.

His campaign added that the name of the NCC report was listed in both the general list of references on page 12 of the sub-report and the list of sources shown on page 58.

Asked if he would offer clarification if the COA wanted to investigate the matter, Chang said that if the COA now feels that the project should not have been accepted at the time, it should go back and review why it was approved.

Chang said the project passed inspection when Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) served as the COA head, and it was checked and accepted after being evaluated by objective scholars and experts.

The KMT mayoral candidate also said he has sued his DPP opponent Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) and the DPP mayor of Taoyuan, Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), for defamation and has prepared to take action in response to any false accusations by the DPP in the future.

Cheng Yun-peng became the DPP's mayoral candidate after staunchly defending the previous candidate, former Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅), against plagiarism charges.

Lin was eventually found by National Taiwan University and Chung Hua University to have plagiarized the theses he used to get master's degrees at the two schools, and pulled out of the race despite insisting he was innocent.

Meanwhile, in response to the Liberty Times report, the COA said Monday it will look into the matter by reviewing the contents of the NCC report.

(By Wu Jui-chi, Yang Su-min and Evelyn Kao)

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