Leung Chun-ying probably knew from the very beginning that the so-called honeymoon period for new leaders is a luxury he cannot afford. But the turbulence in his first 100 days in office must have taken him by surprise. The chief executive and his ministers have been embroiled in a series of scandals involving illegal structures at home, questionable housing allowance claims and properties illegally subdivided for profit. Then came the tensions arising from the controversial national education curriculum and an influx of mainland tourists. All these have, not surprisingly, dragged his popularity to a low level. A recent opinion poll suggests Leung may have regained some lost ground with the way he handled the ferry tragedy that claimed 39 lives last week. However, his performance remains less than impressive so far. Although Leung's leadership has not got off to a good start, it would be premature to conclude he is not a capable chief executive. Three months is too short a period for any leader to deliver substantial results. It is even harder for our leader, given that some of our long-running problems, like a widening wealth gap and high property prices, cannot be resolved overnight. Indeed, just 16 days into his job, Leung announced a raft of livelihood-related measures such as special handouts for the elderly, more land supply and revised transport subsidies for low-income earners. He also wasted no time in addressing some critical issues, such as a zero birth quota for mainland mothers. He also swiftly put on hold plans by the mainland authorities to allow more tourists to visit Hong Kong; and he cracked down on cross-border parallel traders. That said, a lot more has to be done to meet public expectations. The scandals and disasters might have prevented the Leung team from getting on with other pressing problems over the past three months. But as the public looks forward to his next 100 days in office, they rightly expect the new leader to take up issues close to their hearts. Patience is wearing thin. More daunting challenges lie ahead. Economically, the expected slowdown in growth next year will put Leung to the real test. Whether he can steer the city through stormy waters remains to be seen. Politically, Leung is working with an increasingly assertive Legco. A more hostile environment means he needs to double efforts in soliciting lawmakers' support. He also has to address scepticism over his perceived close ties with Beijing and restore public trust in his leadership.