Hsinchu contestant denies plagiarism charges

Text identical to the content of government reports can be found on 31 pages of Lin Keng-jen’s 54-page dissertation, the Democratic Progressive Party said.

  • By Tsai Chang-sheng, Tsai Si-pei and Liu Tzu-hsuan / Staff Reporters, with a Staff Writer

Hsinchu City Councilor Lin Keng-jen (林耕仁), a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate for mayor of Hsinchu, on Monday denied wrongdoing and submitted documents for his alma mater to review after becoming the latest candidate in the local elections in November to face accusations of plagiarism.

Earlier in the day, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus held a press conference where they accused Lin of plagiarizing his master’s thesis from a master’s in business administration program at the University. National Yang Ming Chiao Tung (NYCU).

Hsinchu City Councilman Liu Kang-yen (劉康彥) reported the situation to NYCU.

Photo: Hung Mei-hsiu, Taipei Times

DPP spokeswoman Lin Chin-yi (林靜儀) said texts identical to the contents of government reports can be found on 31 pages of Lin Keng-jen’s 54-page dissertation, or about 60 percent.

The party has asked Lin Keng-jen and the KMT to clarify whether he plagiarized his thesis and used his power as a city councilor to obtain government reports, the DPP caucus whip said, Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).

Ker asked KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) to apologize to the public because the party “nominated an unqualified candidate” and called on Lin Keng-jen to clarify the circumstances leading to the indictment.

NYCU confirmed yesterday that it has received the report from the DPP and will be investigating.

A university committee would announce its findings in 120 days, starting the day after receiving the report, but would not explain the details of the investigation during the process, he said.

Lin Keng-jen said that following similar accusations against former KMT deputy Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑), the party’s candidate for mayor of Keelung, and former prime minister Simon Chang (張善政), his candidate for mayor of Taoyuan, the DPP lives up to “his usual trick.

The DPP is trying to divert public attention from the controversy of a campaign video in which former Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), the DPP’s candidate for mayor of Taipei, “promotes sexual harassment” and the poor performance of his Hsinchu mayoral candidate, Hsinchu Deputy Mayor Shen Hui-hung (沈慧虹), Lin Keng-jen said.

The dissertation analyzed security and traffic in Hsinchu City, as these were the two most frequently mentioned issues in petitions from 2008 to 2010, he said.

In the literature review section, he analyzed public government information, all of which was correctly cited, he said.

He thanked the DPP for pointing out he missed six citations in his dissertation and said he admitted his mistakes.

He “would not bow to the DPP’s false accusations,” he said, adding that he had sent documents to the NYCU Research Ethics Board and would “fight for his innocence.”

Asked about the plagiarism accusation against Chang, Chu said on Monday that it was a low-level act that “the public would not accept.”

Since former Hsinchu mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅) – who was the DPP’s candidate for mayor of Taoyuan – dropped out after the National Taiwan University (NTU) academic ethics committee recommended that his master’s degree be revoked, claiming he had plagiarized another graduate student’s work, the DPP tried “to excuse Lin Chih-chien by dragging everyone down,” Chu said.

Separately on Monday, Lin Chih-chien appointed a lawyer to file an administrative appeal with the Ministry of Education, claiming the process used by the NTU committee was flawed and seeking the revocation of its Aug. 9 decision.

The ministry confirmed yesterday that it had received the call and would deliberate the matter in accordance with the law.

Additional reporting by Hsieh Chun-lin,

Hung Mei-hsiu, Cheng Shu-ting and Yang Mien-chieh

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